Our imagination is limited by the tools we use to understand the world

As whopping amounts of new data are giving us an almost unlimited opportunity to understand the world. Are the incumbent tools we use to make sense of this information limiting our ideas to the old frameworks the tools were designed to solve?

Is this looking at the future through the rear-view mirror? Tools like SWOT or traditional Design Thinking were designed to solve problems when data was scarce, managerial capitalism and mass consumerism was rampant, industries moved slowly and customer demand patterns were predictable.

What if our current world doesn’t look like this anymore but we are not seeing it because the lenses we use to see the world are designed not to challenge these ideas, but confirm them?

With new data, information, networks and shared knowledge our methods for understanding the world and develop ideas to fit need to be updated. We need to question any old tool, not disregard it, but be very conscious of how it frames our perceptions and help us use it in that context.

And we need new tools, developed to challenge these frameworks and help us create new ones.

“mutations that upend industries can come from anywhere, and conventional forms of market analysis and competitive strategy will miss those mutations.” – Shoshana Zuboff, http://bit.ly/2un6Vvs

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