Deep Dogmas

Not long ago, historians believed that civilization in South America developed fairly recently. But then they found Chankillo in Peru, which is the oldest known astronomical observatory in the Americas. Using a mix of astronomy and carbon dating, researchers realized the site was over 2300 years old.

This is a great example of how mixing different kinds of knowledge, like astronomy and archaeology, can lead to big discoveries.

It’s a pattern we see often: For example, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which came from physics, has been instrumental in advancing medical science. It replaced the technique of ‘making better surgical cuts’ to diagnose a patient.

These advances in our knowledge occur when outside experts challenge Deep Dogmas: The common, often long-held internal assumptions of every professional field.

There are two main takeaways here.

First, how well do you internally challenge the Deep Dogmas in your own industry to advance and innovate? Are your diversity efforts really effective, or do they simply replace an existing set of Deep Dogmas for a new set of Deep Dogmas?

Second, how much time does your organization spend on external orientation? It’s in the outside world that we encounter different disciplines which challenge our ways of thinking.

The Death of a Deep Dogma is a giant opportunity to advance.

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