Recently Ed Kless, my good friend and Verasage fellow, penned a post on the Verasage web site titled Ed’s Top Ten Business Myths not so subtlety challenging the historically accepted common body of knowledge that while possibly once valid, has seen little evolution and virtually no innovation in the last 100 years. Given the intellect and sophistication of our professional peers, it is perplexing that we continue to march in lockstep to the beat of an 1800′s drummer. Why does no one challenge or question? Where is the innovation. We know it’s not because the current business model is perfect. In fact it’s not even ‘good’. So why? In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato sought to answer that question.
Socrates is addressing his student, Glaucon, and describes a ‘world’ where the inhabitants are chained in a cave facing forward, allowing them to see only the wall in front of them. Projected on that wall, are reflected images of animals. The voices heard were attributed to the images, and since they could not turn their heads those images and voices became their false reality.
Ultimately, one prisoner is taken to the outside world, sees the sun and is exposed to reality. Ultimately he is returned to his original habitat, but can no longer accept that false reality. When he attempts to share his intellect with the other prisoners he is rejected because it is of course more comfortable and less threatening. A regression to the familiar by the other prisoneres, if you will.
So ultimately it is the individual choice of each of us to accept the reality of others through their projected images – the accepted body of knowledge and how things are done – or to question that intellect in search of a better business model for service providers.
Going back in the cave is not an alternative.