Paradigm Theory

par·a·digm

[par-uh-dahym]
noun

  1. a set of forms all of which contain a particular element, especially the set of all inflected forms based on a single stem or theme.
  2. a display in fixed arrangement of such a set, as boy, boy’s, boys, boys’.
  3. an example serving as a model; pattern. Synonyms: mold, standard; ideal, paragon, touchstone.
  4. a framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific community.
  5. such a cognitive framework shared by members of any discipline or group: the company’s business paradigm.

I got on the trail of researching paradigms when I watched a lecture by Philips Design VP Paul Gardien. They have a paper out about how changing paradigms in business, change basic assumptions and business models. From a commodity model in the industrial era, to the experience economy today, which is already shifting to a new paradigm: the knowledge economy, where people network with their peers to come to decisions about their life, instead of relying on brand promises. Continue reading

[Kom-pi-tuhnt]

com·pe·tent

[kom-pi-tuhnt]
adjective
  1. having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience,etc., for some purpose; properly qualified: He is perfectly competent to manage the bank branch.
  2. adequate but not exceptional.
  3. Law: (of a witness, a party to a contract, etc.) having legal competence.
  4. Geology: (of a bed or stratum) able to undergo folding without flowage or change in thickness.
Why did I look this up? Sometimes a word is so often used out of its proper context, that it starts to lose meaning. For me, this happened with the word ‘competent’. At the TU/e, skills are ‘competencies’, learning is ‘competency development’. It is overused and overvalued, like it should be a goal to be a competent person. Actually, ‘competent’ means just enough, suitable, you’ll do. You’re OK but nothing more. Why should we strive for that?