The in-between era

This image is from a recent Harvard Business Review article. It nicely illustrates the polarization of values in “new” and “old” paradigm organisations:


The right hand column in the image is what we futurists call a preferred future.

Even if the characteristics of the “new power values” in this future are what many of us wish for, we’re far from there yet. The left hand column of “old power values” still dominates our lives. However, it’s now increasingly clear to us that many aspects of these values no longer work. But on the other hand, the new power values don’t work either, as that preferred future is not here yet.

I guess our challenge today is that we’re in between the two paradigms – somewhere in the strange space between these two columns.

Some of us work towards the new paradigm, but still within the old paradigm. And this work is naturally confusing, conflicting and difficult for most of us.

Some call this the post-normal era: An era characterized by transition, emergence, shifts, both/and approaches, uncertainties and paradoxes. I think depth, foresight, presence and hope are some key tools/concepts to make sense of this in-between era.

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