Paula M. Parker
If architect, systems theorist and inventor R. Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller were alive and advising entrepreneurs today, maybe he’d hammer this home: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing one obsolete.”
Fuller’s theory works in certain situations with skillful application; as an adviser, my focus is business. So I’ll channel a little Bucky and this uncommon idea to help supercharge your business, or maybe inspire you to start one.
You’re welcome. This one’s on the house.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.”
Let’s test Fuller’s theory. Make a fist. Now have a buddy do the same thing. With equal force, push your fist against his. Nothing much happens — equal force can nullify progress.
What’s next? Opposing sides fight harder. Compound that vicious cycle with this acoustic phenomenon from Simone Wright, author of “First Intelligence” highlights”: It’s OK to not like something. But consistently complaining about it is like standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon yelling, “I don’t like this!” Then what? The echo bounces back. And you get more, “I don’t like this!”
Fighting against, and consistently screaming at something you don’t like, may not be the best use of energy when you want to change an existing reality, business or otherwise.
“To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
The Sharks in the Tank call it, “Building a better mousetrap,” but entrepreneurs and inventors have been doing that since the Stone Age. Fuller takes it a step further by introducing an alchemical principle.
Transform the “fighting against” energy. This shift provides access to the creative energy necessary to build a new model, whatever it is.
Another interpretation is from Dr. David Hawkins in “Power vs. Force.”
“Successful solutions are based upon the powerful principle that the resolution occurs by fostering the positive, not by attacking the negative,” he writes.
Fuller and Hawkins fundamentally say the same thing, but differently. Yet both endorse operating from a higher level of emotional and intellectual energy. It’s a choice. Fight against and attack the negative. Or supercharge an idea. In a business context, use the majority of energetic resources toward building a better or entirely new mouse trap.
This change in thinking invites creative energy, it’s where genius lives, and it’s available to you. It delivers ideas to perhaps start a business offering customers options that other companies don’t. Maybe you create a “first of its kind” product, with fully developed features setting an industry standard.
Whatever the case, when your new product, business or model has a purpose, there’s always a plan. It’s time.
I’m guessing Bucky would recap by saying there are exceptions to everything. And building a new model or mouse trap is an eternal concept. So it’s worth considering, if you’re at all serious about changing the existing reality business or otherwise.
Ashland resident Paula M. Parker is an owner’s adviser preparing businesses to prosper. Contact her at www.paulamparker.net.