Cutting EdgePosted: September 24, 2009
My friend and i fb’d about “the curve” and wondered outloud how you locate the people who are ahead of it. Who’s sees what’s coming next? Is there a better way to keep up culturally beyond reading Rolling Stone and Leonard Sweet?
I think the answer breaks down a number of ways.
First, the answer is industry/interest/discipline specific. The people seeing the future of their discipline are already part of the discipline. Anyone considered to be ahead of the curve is already in the industry. To follow them- thus, being on the cutting edge- be up on the news in the given discipline. All the new ideas are going to evolve and revolve within a particular discipline. This narrows down the who and where.
Secondly, the people seeing around the corners have a deep respect and understanding of their discipline. They know what has been- not so they know what to do, but so they know what can be. Usage of ideas can be broken into three broad categories: Pre-Conventional (nobody does that), Conventional (everybody does that), and Post-Conventional (nobody does that anymore). Great thinkers and innovators understand where they come from and have a new vision of where they’re going.
Third. People who lead change in their industry/discipline/interest/field are attuned to the spirit of the discipline; its core purpose and meaning. That which inspires the rules and ideas. People like this understand the why behind the what- not just the surface that presents itself- the impetus of the forward movement.
Lastly, interpreting the ideas of industry leaders requires a basic understanding of the industry. You need to have a thorough knowledge of the discipline. Know the ins and outs of the box before you try to think outside it.
Christianity is a good case study.
When a religious leader tries to move the discipline forward ,but disrespects the spirit or violates the fundamentals, we refer to their work as a cult.
Jesus, starting out, trains as a rabbi. Explores deeply within Judaism and by understanding what makes it come alive and honoring the spirit, he brings it to the next stage. Paul, a rabbi trained by Jesus himself, takes it a step further. If Jesus or Paul ditch the fundamentals of Judaism or disrespect the spirit, they fail. Today, thousands of years later, the cutting edge christians are the ones who are most attuned to the spirit and who understand where the discipline came from and what makes it come alive and move forward.
Christianity is a unique religion, in part because of its forward progression.