Feel like your life is a little out of focus? Your problems are never really solved but keep reoccurring? This may be due to your problem solving myopia. Sorry not your myopia, our myopia. We have this human tendency to focus on the symptoms of a problem rather than the root cause which results in issues getting ignored instead of fixing what’s ultimately wrong.
We all can get better at thinking in the longer term by considering the scope of our problems and those who are affected by our decisions. But before we jump into bettering ourselves, we should at least know where we stand. Author of “The Regenerative Business,” Carol Sanford, presents four paradigms in which we think about ourselves relative to our surroundings.
Everything that is alive has an essence, we all live in a community or ecosystem
-Sanford about the regenerative framework for individuals and businesses
The Four Paradigms:
Extractive Model (Toddler Thinking)
How will this decision affect me (and only me)?
This first paradigm is all about “me me me!” Sounds a lot like a toddler you know, right? Here, the individual views the world as independent fragments, never taking others into consideration when it comes to making decisions. It’s a self-centered, almost selfish model that ends up hurting the individual’s efforts due to their limited scope. We all recognize this team member with their head down and horse blinders on. Not only does this person fail to see the whole picture– they refuse to.
The Less Bad
How will this decision affect myself, and then others?
Then there’s that shift from me to us. Here, the individual still sees that the world as fragmented, but instead, recognizes that these fragments are interconnected. Because of this, the individual will try to coexist with and account for these other fragments for better decision making. So if you feel that you’re in this paradigm, I’ll give you a little credit because it’s less bad than that last model. Ha!
How can I improve my system (in order to benefit me)?
“Do good” may sound a little too altruistic for some of us – but hear me out! This third paradigm recognizes the importance of reciprocity; so the more you put out into the world, the more you get out of it. There’s still that “us” component but the individual will try to improve the system to reap the benefits. So I think we can agree that we’re liking this team member a bit more. They’re participating in team decisions and meetings and they’re considerate.
Regenerative Model (Above and Beyond Ourselves)
How will this decision affect us?
Finally, the Regenerative paradigm is where the individual sees the world as a whole interconnected system and goes beyond thinking about just oneself. It’s only here that we can address the actual problem and focus on long term effects. At Outsource Marketing, we strive to fit into this paradigm. One of the ways we achieve this model is through our Braintrust meetings where we get all our heads together to develop solutions, uncover problems, brainstorm creative ideas, and put everything in focus. We love team discussions because it brings in people with different core strengths and perspectives!
We all know that nothing we do is in a vacuum, so why would we make decisions as if they are? I can promise you that by making this shift to the Regenerative model, you will clearly see the results that come from your decision making.