Paradigms shifts usually come from outside the discipline understudy

"...the great advances in science are down to paradigm shifts brought about by an inspired deception or insight, which calls into question the logic of the prevailing interpretation.......Yet we love to pre-serve the prevailing or conventional perception..."

Piers Dudgeon, 2001


"...The feeling of defensiveness and xenophobia aroused by researchers who stray from a particular speciality remains strong in science even today. This is unfortunate, for the most brilliant insights are often by those outside the immediate field concerned..."

Tim Flannery, 2005

For example,

- 3 non-palaeontologists (a geologist - Walter Alvarez, a physicist - Luis Alvarez, and a nuclear chemist ‐ Frank Asaro) made the discovery that the dinosaurs did not disappear slowly but suddenly from an explosive event. Initially there was a strong negative reaction to this idea from trained palaeontologists!!!!

- George Mendal's work in genetics yet he was trained as a monk

- Charles Darwin's work on evolution yet he was trained to be a "man of the cloth"

- Maynard Keynes' greatest influence was in economics yet he was trained as a philosopher

- James Farrer, who found ways to handle "rust" in wheat, was a land surveyor

- Helen Newton-Turner, one of the world's leading animal geneticists, was trained as an architect

- James Croll, who partly explained how variations in the Earth's orbit might have precipitated ice ages, was a janitor at Anderson University in 1860

- Alfred Wegener (meteorologist & explorer) proposed a theory on continental drift (that the continents wandered across the face of the earth, sometimes getting closer together but at other times moving apart). Yet at the time (1912) he proposed this, the leading geologists viciously rejected his theory

- Albert Einstein went on to change our perception of the universe yet he was a patent clerk who failed his college entrance exam

- Thomas Edison went on to invent motion pictures and the electric light bulb yet he had only three weeks of formal education and was partly deaf

- Wilbur and Orville Wright, who inaugurated the era of manned flight, were struggling bike mechanics

- William Bridges, an academic in English language and literature, developed a very successful framework in Change Management

- John Kotter, trained as a physicist, developed a very successful framework in Change Management (organisation)

Jane Goodall, who was initially trained as a secretary, became the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees after studying them for over 5 decades in their natural environment in Tanzania. Her findings challenged some long-standing views held in the scientific world, eg only humans were toolmakers, that chimpanzees were vegetarians and not brutal amongst themselves. 

"...this involves a new way of looking at information that has been available for everyone else..."

Edward deBono as quoted by Piers Dudgeon, 2001

"...the difference between a breakthrough and not can often be just a small element of perception ... that puts things together in a different way..."

Brian Greene, 2003

"...too strict an adherence to a disciplinary track operates against the more open stances of the synthesizer or the creator. Options need to be kept open - a straight trajectory is less effective than one entailing numerous bypasses, and even a few disappointing but instructive cul-de-sacs..."

Howard Gardner, 2006a

Thus there is a need to change perceptions and keep on changing perceptions so that we are shaken out of our judgmental rock of existence. Creative thinking tools and techniques are an effective way to do this as they apply a deliberate, prescribed and systematic way to solve problems rather than a haphazard, chance and lucky approach. This involves provoking the brain to breakaway from its preferences for familiarity, association, emotional bias, etc. The brain is fundamentally uncreative

Never accept that there is only one way to things, even when things are going well!!!!!!!!!! For example, there was nothing wrong with the original detergents until someone thought of the concept of concentrating them. This made them 45% cheaper to handle and less shelf space was required in the store.

Furthermore, in addition to the ordinary expressions of anger, hatred, love, fear, joy, suspicion, jealousy, sorrow, depression, remorse, sadness, etc, there are the ego-emotions (pride, power, insecurity, drawing attention, the need to be right all the time, feeling important, not being fooled, etc).

"...emotions usually come first and then the thinking is used to support and backup the emotions. Even when thinking does come first, the emotions give it power. All decisions and choices are emotional....All decisions are naturally based on fear, greed or laziness..."

Edward deBono as quoted by Pier Dudgeon, 2001

(sources: Edward deBono, 1998; Warren Buffett, 2001; Piers Dudgeon, 2001; Peter Drucker, 2001; Brian Greene, 2003; Bill Bryson, 2004; Catherine Fox, 2004; Mark Lythgoe, 2005; Tim Flannery, 2005; Martyn Newman, 2007)


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