Posts Tagged ‘causal thinking’

The paradigm shift in thinking

by Himanshu Jhamb on May 26, 2009


I shared in my last post how entrepreneurs act in order to realize their dream companies. To quote from my last post – ‘Entrepreneurs are not deterred by the result as they accept & acknowledge the possibility that the result might be different from what they imagined at the beginning’. This is not by accident. It is a part of the plan.

Sound a bit weird?

I bet it does. Surprisingly, there have been studies claiming this is where the fulcrum of the paradigm shift in thinking rests!

Dr. Saras Sarasvathy, in 2001, published a paper for submission to the Harvard Business Review, on “What Makes Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurial.” In this paper, Dr. Sarasvathy discusses the distinctions ‘Causal thinking’ and ‘Effectual thinking’.

Dr. Sarasvathy points out that Causal thinking follows a process of setting goals and then going about achieving them with taking stock of one’s resources, limitations and circumstances. Effectual thinking, on the other hand, is not about setting goals but setting out with a set of resources, knowing one’s limitations and acting to produce situations that lead to goals, which are brought forth in existence, or created, in the process of execution. Dr. Sarasvathy further points out that though entrepreneurs employ both causal as well as effectual thinking in their entrepreneurial ventures, they lean towards effectual thinking at the beginning and then balance it out with the causal cousin once their project matures.

My journey so far has been much like an adventure. I find myself discovering things that I did not know existed. It is like I am exploring things and to find out what lies ahead, I need to continue moving ahead. This, I believe, is what Dr Sarasvathy means about moving without set goals.

This paper from Dr. Sarasvathy already has created a paradigm shift in my thinking and I am also getting to see that change put into action in our first project. I urge all of you to read the paper and be inspired!