Blank Sheet Thinking

Blank Sheet Thinking

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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?

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  1. Augustine Inogbo says

    It is interesting…
    This is like thinking out of the CONTEXT of this present World that is full of Limitations.

    Anything is possible. The Mind is a Spiritual Telescope that can see beyond the physical and metaphysical realms.

    We are gods according to the Holy Bible; we can imagine, think and achieve great things that are beyond this present World of ours.

  2. Wonderful.
    I take up these words in a slightly reformatted manner!

    “So my challenge to myself is to shift my mindset from looking at how to change things from what I have now /do now /are now, to asking what it would be like if I started again. Facing this question everyday will help me solve the problems I face as a human being. [The human race will be the beneficiary of my self-responsibility.]

    “I challenge myself to let go of the fear and take my thinking beyond the limits of current possibility – and apply them directly to what I am doing now.”

  3. I’m starting with a blank page TONIGHT! We just hired an Executive Director for my non-profit, which has just been run by me and my co-founder (CEO and President) and we’re looking at the “staff” and seeing that we now have 3 leaders. Interesting…

    So, tonight we are starting with a blank sheet with the challenge of ignoring the society “normal” as we set out to create a consensus structure for our organization. This isn’t new by any means and I’m researching who’s doing it and how it all works…but it’s definitely NEW to us and for our organization.

    Will keep you posted!

    • The Google guys did it for a while to good effect. They have moved away from it recently to get more velicity back into the organisation. There are pros and cons. The real question is how would you approach making an impact in the world with what you know now? Would you be doing Mind Drive in the way you are now or would you be tackling the same challenge in a different or bigger way?

  4. mamokhethi says

    This reninds me of a book I read, the tittle was The Magic of Thinking Big. It is well said that a great thinker always visualises what should be done, not stuck with the present, visualization adds value to everything

    Thinking beyond the black sheet!
    I have a challenge of fear of regestion and fear of failure in the past years when I should have been hosted a big event. So, I have to think beyond now and change the way I think.

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