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  • benjaminnewman01

Mod. 5.6 - Journal: Reflections on The Natural Paradigm

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Now that you've spent some time exploring and understanding the Natural Paradigm, make a journal entry reflecting on what emerged for you, using the prompts below.

  • How might the elements of the Natural Paradigm be serving you?

  • How might the elements of the Natural Paradigm be failing you?

  • Do you feel you are your best self when you are experiencing and expressing the elements of Natural Paradigm? How? Why?

 

How might the elements of the Natural Paradigm be serving you?

The Natural Paradigm serves me very well in my professional work because the ecosystem of stakeholders is so small. Working to get all parties to value the voices of everyone who cares and is invested in the company’s success supports a mindset of abundance, curiosity, trust, and helps to build genuine loyalty (i.e. freedom to move on, rather than stay put due to fear of rejection and the unknown). It also helps generate excitement that is shared with others and begins to spread to networks beyond the stakeholders. Recently, I was working with a Board Member at my Orchestra who specializes in marketing. She said “we need to focus on what type of experience we want people to have, and who are the people who want that experience.” We identified that audience members, donors, and musicians are the three most important groups whose experience we need to focus on. What she didn’t realize at the time, was that by including the musicians, she subconsciously broke down the invisible barriers between audiences and performers that is the historic model and continues to be prevalent for many arts organizations today. Because of her background, she understood that all experiences are two-way streets. There are the experience designers, and the experience users. Arts organizations traditionally have tried to sell their users on the idea and model that their designs are the best and they should be grateful they shared them with the users at all. My board member understood that if there are no feedback loops to gain insights into how the users are engaging with the design and if they actually want the experience the designers have provided, then the model will become repetitive and tired.


How might the elements of the Natural Paradigm be failing you?

An abundance mindset has a unique negative byproduct that can sometimes emerge from some stakeholders who are accustomed to a scarcity mindset. Since scarcity requires that numerous people invest in something to make sure it stays alive, the perception of abundance can create a sense that someone’s individual contributions to the effort are either not as impactful or needed since things are going so well. The scarcity mindset closely correlates with a fear mindset that says “I’m no longer needed in an abundant space” instead of saying “There’s even more room here for me to contribute and participate.” Similarly, applying the value of trust without also applying checks and balances as measures of accountability can create less effective projects because people feel empowered to move forward, but may lack the context of the bigger picture to help keep their work on track.


Do you feel you are your best self when you are experiencing and expressing the elements of Natural Paradigm? How? Why?

I definitely feel I am my best self when expressing and experiencing the Natural Paradigm because I see it as an open framework for anyone to find space within. I try to take a servant leadership approach to my work and the Natural Paradigm aligns closely with that approach because it isn’t about “my way” of operating, it’s about creating space for all kinds of people and ways of operating. I’ve tried to train myself to define success less as how “I feel/felt” about something and more about how “Others feel/felt” about it. If it’s successful for them and generates repeat and return engagement, or even if they just walk away with a valuable experience, then that is the optimal version of success for me. In the times where I struggle to apply that approach, I try to gird myself in the principle of resilience. For many years, I’ve been someone who wears their heart on their sleeve. I’m pretty open about myself and will tell people who are important to me exactly how important they are to me. While this practice led to me getting hurt on several occasions, I subconsciously knew that my way of operating wasn’t something I wanted to change. I just needed to change the people I was investing that vulnerability into. Over time, my heart became resilient against the attacks of others who sought to mock me or bully me into changing my behavior. Now I find that I can not only withstand those attacks, but I can help bring bullies into the fold of vulnerability by showing my immunity to their tactics.

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