Multispectives, a Philosophy Model for Innovation
The term of multispectives, by its very nature of continuous inquiry cycles seems to be shifting and growing in meaning. This is my latest conceptualization of multispectives.
Multispectives is an integral philosophy that embraces thought models from across the spectrums of philosophy:
• Folk philosophy
• Cultural beliefs
• Functional philosophy
• Popular culture philosophy
• Theoretical and speculative philosophy
• Performative and interactive philosophy
• And others…
This means that multispectives may give just as much importance to the folk beliefs of a culture as much as the philosophy of Plato and Socrates. Multispectives delays judgement on thoughts and ideas and treats them as “possibilities”or perspectives that may come in useful to solve other types of problems.
Multispective inquiry acknowledges that it is due to folk beliefs and what we derogatively call “superstitions” that we now have drugs like penicillin and many other medical treatments that came from folk-medicine. This un-scientific medicine was practiced by regular working-class people for many years through real-life, trial-and-error “experimentation”. These unknown collective scientists, grandmothers and neighbors took a bottom-up approach to problem-solving and to innovating their systems and they did it successfully.
Today folk and anthropology departments in academia are being asked to participate in the ethnographic research of ancient cultures and shamans from around the world. The research is often funded by major pharmaceutical corporations. They encourage the search for traces of knowledge of successful uses of herbs, healing processes or any other type of knowledge that could be integrated into mainstream scientific medicine. This movement by major business seems to acknowledge the value of using folk-knowledge to spark innovations.
Our global producer of consumer goods, Procter & Gamble, (P&G) has ethnographers watching and interviewing people in developing countries to find out how they clean their houses. They want to see how folk-innovation has lead to great ideas that we have never thought about from within our own “box” of thinking. Their research has led to new products that not only borrow from folk-innovation but are re-designed to add more value.
Multispective philosophy acknowledges the value of the bottom-up approach, the top-down approach, the sideways and diagonal approaches – as the name implies, it’s goal is to consider all angles and all possible perspectives and conceptualizations.
Before continuing I would like to summarize some of the points here for review. Multispectives is evolving as:
• An open, continuously developing philosophical system that borrows and considers all forms of thought and philosophy as holding equal potential for use in inquiry and theory
• A continuous thought process that is multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural, multi-modal, integral
• A philosophy system that uses multiple and continuous cycles of inquiry
• A thought process that acknowledges the dynamics of relativity in cycles of meaning
• An open, continuously evolving inquiry model that acknowledges systems relativity and their cycles
• An open, philosophical system that is continuously changing due to its continuous cycles of experience, interaction and inquiry
©2006. Daniel Montaño.
Author of Innovation Strategies of the World’s Most Innovative Companies. Analyzes the innovation strategies of P&G, Apple, IDEO, eBay, GE, Gillette, IBM, Nokia, Philips, Samsung, Target, Toyota, IKEA, Virgin, and companies nominated by BusinessWeek Magazine as the “World’s Most Innovative Companies” in 2006.