In business, what is meant by "Leap of Faith"?
By Dr. Rod King (rodkuhnhking@gmail.com; @rodkuhnking)
"When people's Leaps...
considered as hallucinations. Even Einstein suffered from believing too
strongly in his Leaps of Faith especially in Quant...
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In business, what is meant by "Leap of Faith"?

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  • @hudali15: Ali, I revisited your presentation, 'All You Can' at http://www.slideshare.net/hudali15/all-you-can. I'm still inspired by your presentation. You dare us to dream but to achieve our dreams, we must realize that reality poses constraints. It's good to know that reality poses constraints as counterintuitively expressed in the Universal Law of Diminishing Returns and upon which you touched in the expression of 'More is Less.' I also see the phenomenon of More is Less in expressions such as 'Too many cooks spoil the broth'; 'The last straw that broke the camel's back'; 'Too much of one thing is good for nothing.' Contrasting the Law of Diminishing Returns is the 'Law of Increasing Returns (Network Effects).' This latter law, which is reminiscent of the Butterfly Principle in Chaos Theory, focuses on how tiny perturbations eventually cause large scale events such as hurricanes and avalanches. Underlying the Law of Increasing Returns are non-linear (exponential) processes which give rise to situations of where the effect is disproportionate to the magnitude of the cause. Also, the 80/20 Principle - which indicates that 80% of an effect can be accounted for by 20% of the causes - provides many every day examples of the Less-is-More situation. On reflection and in respect of the Less-is-More principle, I'll refrain from saying more and hope that my pause says more than my 'notes.'
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  • Rod- you wrote '. In my daily life, I know that beyond a critical point, more haste leads to less speed. For instance, beyond a certain point, the faster I try to find something, the less likely it is for me to find it'. I wish you had written this earlier so that I could have used it in my presentation All You Can. I gave few examples of more is less and this one would have perfectly fitted in.
    By the way' Less is More is the same or it may trigger different thinking? Any idea, Rod/
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  • @juaomaya: Juao, Thanks for your comments including Ali's suggestion. But, oh time, oh time!
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  • @hudali15: Ali, Your comment - '... the more we try to locate an electron, the less likely we find it.' - reminds me of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Actually, if my original comment is slightly reframed, it would be in the realm of the Uncertainty Principle in Quantum Mechanics: 'The farther in (infinitesimally small or large) space and time one thinks of an object, the more unpredictable its behavior becomes.' In normal space and time, I see your comment more in the light of creative ideas and mental block. If a situation of mental block is emerging in problem solving, the more you try to find a solution, the lower the chances are that you'll find one. In such situation, giving the mind rest gives the idea time to incubate and the mind time to relax while self-organizing itself. If one is lucky, the solution may pop up in a flash of insight, that is, an 'Aha moment.' Archimedes's 'Eureka!' is the most widely known example of this creative incubation phenomenon. Also, I know that Zen philosophy and in particular, Zen Archery is very strong on the idea which you express: to hit a target, don't directly aim at it. The more you directly aim at the target, the more likely you are to miss it. I guess a similar idea is shared by NASA scientists and astronauts who plan and execute journeys in space. In my daily life, I know that beyond a critical point, more haste leads to less speed. For instance, beyond a certain point, the faster I try to find something, the less likely it is for me to find it. I hope the above examples 'feebly' illustrate the Uncertainty Principle which underlies your original comment. Most of all, I hope that you find the comments interesting.
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  • @RodKing Dear Rod, I welcome Ali's great suggestion and hope sincerely that you may kindly accept it. Thank you
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In business, what is meant by "Leap of Faith"?

  1. 1. In business, what is meant by "Leap of Faith"? By Dr. Rod King (rodkuhnhking@gmail.com; @rodkuhnking) "When people's Leaps of Faith are validated by reality, they are celebrated as Visionaries. When people's Leaps of Faith never come to fruition, they are dismissed as Lunatics or Assholes." 'Leap of Faith' is a phrase commonly attributed to the Danish Philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, who is one of my favorite philosophers. Kierkegaard once said, "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." How wise! It is only after living that we can make sense of life. The further you think about life, the more unpredictable it becomes. This is Chaos Theory at work. Another hero of mine, Benjamin Franklyn, once said: "The only thing certain in life is death and taxes." But, I digress. According to Wikipedia, Kierkegaard never used the term 'Leap of Faith.' His own phrase was 'Leap to Faith.' Whether one uses 'Leap of Faith' or 'Leap to Faith,' the idea is of a currently unproven belief, grand hypothesis, dream, or future scenario. In the context of business, I first came across the term, 'Leap of Faith,' in John Mullins & Randy Komisar's book, 'Getting to Plan B.' Eric Ries also uses the phrase in his book, ''The Lean Startup.' In general, 'Leap of Faith' is synonymous with vision or dream. However, the term Leap of Faith emphasizes that a vision is purely a claim, theory, or hypothesis that must be validated using experiments. In business, entrepreneurs (especially of the visionary type) consider their vision to be as 'real' as one of nature’s laws and may waste considerable time, money, and other resources by intuitively or blindly pursuing that vision; I speak from experience! In contrast, if one were to consider a vision as a 'Leap of Faith' or hypothesis, then there's a strong need to conduct scientific experiments to accept or reject the Leap of Faith (Vision). Albert Einstein provides an excellent case of someone who had great Leaps of Faith (Visions). However, he had to have his intuitive leaps validated by experiments. Otherwise, his Leaps of Faith or 'intuition' would have been
  2. 2. considered as hallucinations. Even Einstein suffered from believing too strongly in his Leaps of Faith especially in Quantum Mechanics as revealed in his comment, 'God does not play dice.' Another Leap of Faith of Einstein related to a Unified Theory that he unsuccessfully pursued. Like in dreams, Leaps of Faith are generally elusive and hardly come to pass as originally conceived. However, by decomposing a Leap of Faith (Vision/Dream) into short, medium, and long-term goals as well as results, outcomes, and milestones while continuously conducting experiments to test components and objectives of the Goals/Leap of Faith/Vision/Dream, we may be able to cost-effectively achieve our vision or pivot to more attainable goals and dreams. I find the topic of 'Leap of Faith' fascinating. Do you? Best, Rod. “Red Ocean Disruptor” October 2013.  

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