There is one question that should be asked much more often. That question is:
What if we reimagined this from a blank page?
You see, there is a huge shift happening in what is possible. Just in my own lifetime, with the emergence of the internet and the mobile phone, I see how those technologies are completely transforming what is possible for me, every day. Thinking back to my earliest memories in the 1980s, it’s as if I am living on another planet. 30 or so years ago, I could not have imagined how day-to-day life would turn out.
And yet, the revolution in possibility has just begun. Emerging technologies like nanotech, biotech, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and robotics will make today look like the dark ages. And this will all happen much much faster than we think. The mind boggles to imagine what life will be like 30 years from now, with all the innovation potential ahead.
The problem is that we are biologically wired for only incremental, linear progression. Not changing too much too quickly used to keep us safe. Now it is becoming a huge barrier to progress and, more importantly, a barrier to solving the very significant problems we have in the world.
If we take what we have now and simply evolve it, we will never live up to our potential. If we look at what is possible from a blank page, we start to tap into our true potential. And this can apply to our personal life, to the communities we live in, and to the companies we work for.
Much of my life is now focussed on re-imagining my home community of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. I like to think about this boldly, from a blank page.
I think of reimagining our health care system and ask blank-sheet questions, like: ‘How can we ensure a life expectancy of 100?’
I think of reimagining our education system and ask a question like: ‘How can we become the world’s first self-actualised country?’
I think of reimagining our economic model and ask: ‘How can we sustainably get our cost of living down to zero?’
I think of reimaging how we organise our society and ask: ‘How can we become the world’s first self-organised country?’
I think of us taking our place in the global community and ask: ‘How can we become the highest-impact nation on the planet?’
The great thing about this type of thinking is that it helps me to see the real opportunities for improving where I live. The troubling thing is that most of our problems could be solved if we just started afresh, and yet our biological wiring prevents us from doing this easily.
We are living in a biological bureaucracy that hampers our ability to truly live our potential. Deliberately separating ourselves from the noise of our minds is key. Reimagining what is possible, from a blank page, is truly the ticket to changing our life and the world, in unimaginable ways.
So my challenge to every individual, community and company is to shift your mindset from looking at how to change things from what you have now /do now /are now, to asking what it would be like if you started again. Facing this question everyday will help us solve the problems we face as a human race.
I challenge you to let go of the fear and take your thinking beyond the limits of current possibility – and apply them directly to what you are doing now.
I would love to know about some of your blank sheet thinking in the comments section below. What would you change, and how would you change it?