The Dogmas Of the Quiet Past Are Inadequate
On December 1st, 1862 Abraham Lincoln wrote a long message to Congress in which he passionately argues for controversial measures such as the voluntary colonization of slaves and compensated emancipation.
In his note, he writes: “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise – with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.”
It strikes me how accurate this observation is for today’s times (and I am not even talking politics). In today’s world, a world which is faster and changes more dramatically than ever before – powered by the relentless and exponential pace of technology innovation, our old dogmas just don’t work anymore.
Moreover, we hold on to them and try to make sense of tomorrows world by looking at it through today’s lens. The disruptors are the ones who learn from the past but don’t hold on to it; instead forging ahead and creating whole new business models, customer segments, industries, product categories.
Apple’s iTunes was innovative as it allowed you to buy a single song instead of a whole album; Spotify is revolutionary as they broke the dogma and gave us all-we-can-listen-to music.
What are the dogmas in your industry which we must think and act anew?