Read these short blog posts to explore the Conventional and Natural Paradigms, and what it might mean to you to Re-Align with Nature.
A paradigm is what we believe to be true about the world, how it works, and our role in it. The paradigm we walk around with drives our behaviors and decision-making far more than our values, yet we often are unaware of it.
Our current dominant cultural paradigm, the Conventional Paradigm, is based on believing in and valuing scarcity, individuality, competition, greed, resistance, and fear. It is what we mean when we refer to the “real world”. Believing that we have to operate according to these rules has not only caused most of the social and environmental problems we have created, it is keeping us from solving them.
Nature has a very different paradigm. Nature’s Paradigm is based on believing in and valuing abundance, systems, synergies, trust, resilience, and curiosity. Since humans are living beings, Nature’s Paradigm is our Natural Paradigm. This is the paradigm we feel and follow when we’re taking a walk in the woods, lost in a creative activity, or helping a friend.
We must lead from Nature’s Paradigm in order to address the biggest challenges of our time.
The problem is, most of us working to save the world — including those leading nonprofits — believe we have to adhere to the Conventional Paradigm in order to accomplish our missions. Is that you? Where are you leading from? Take a moment to reflect on where you are in the Conventional—to—Natural Paradigm spectrum.
Is your leadership largely driven by a sense of:
SCARCITY — there’s not enough to go around — or by ABUNDANCE?
INDIVIDUALITY — the burden is on your shoulders — or by SYSTEMS?
COMPETITION — you’ve got to play the game and play to win — or by SYNERGIES?
GREED — some is good, more is better — or by TRUST?
RESISTANCE — it’s all their fault — or by RESILIENCE?
FEAR — stress, worry, anxiety — or CURIOSITY?
Leading from the Conventional Paradigm not only sabotages our own missions, it’s detrimental to our physical and mental health, as well as those we lead.
Just as we’ve learned to create innovative and sustainable designs by following Nature’s Principles (biomimicry), we can learn to lead innovative and sustainable — as well as beautiful, creative, and joyful — organizations and lives by (re)discovering and following Nature’s Paradigm.
You can shift from the Conventional to the Natural Paradigm. It’s not only wonderfully freeing, it brings immediate benefits, both personal and professional. We need more of us — most of us — to rediscover and lead from Nature’s Paradigm. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your organization, your mission, and for Nature.
If this sounds compelling, please let me know! I’m in the process of forming the first cohort of the online course Re-Aligning with Nature, Re-Discovering the Power of Your Natural Inspiration, Creativity, and Wisdom.