Breakthrough Technology LEVERAGE comes from the idea of making distinctions.
Like the word paradigm, the word distinction has a definition for breakthroughs that is quite different. Some word was needed to describe this important factor in a more narrow way and distinction fits the need. Paradigm is a great word because it inherently lacks good agreement in its meaning. Thus paradigm conveys a lack of precision, which is needed in breakthrough technology. As you begin to understand breakthrough technology you may also better understand the importance of our definitions.
First lets define distinction using a dictionary definition – at a some level this is our definition:
dis┬Ětinc┬Ětion (d-stngkshn)

1. The act of distinguishing; differentiation.
2. The condition or fact of being dissimilar or distinct; difference: “the crucial distinction between education and indoctrination” (A. Bartlett Giamatti). See Synonyms at difference.
3. A distinguishing factor, attribute, or characteristic.
4a. Excellence or eminence, as of performance, character, or reputation: a diplomat of distinction.
4b. A special feature or quality conferring superiority.
5. Recognition of achievement or superiority; honor: graduated with distinction.

In this case the definition of the word distinction is carries the GENERAL idea we will be trying to convey in Breakthrough technology. However, distinction as we will use it has certain characteristics that are critical to recognizing breakthroughs.

All very innovative material will contain something involving a distinction. However, a great deal of the material on the Internet is just re-phrasing what is already known. GREAT content is rare but admittedly GOOD content is common but POOR content is the most common.

NOW, please bear with me as we define some characteristics of distinctions. This is where we will lose some people. True distinctions cannot be taught and that is the kind of distinction we need in any breakthrough, innovation system. You need to see “everything” differently and learning to understand that distinctions cannot be taught is just one of many things to bring you in that direction. I will mention some distinctions and you may say you get it, that you have learned it and in some cases you have internalized it. Some light went on in your head but maybe not others. The most important distinctions are the ones you will make in the future. Perhaps, you are reviewing some research information and some conclusions are included. However, your examination of the same information results in a completely different conclusion – you have made a distinction. Your distinction (we will assume) is something very powerful that changes everything. Quite often the distinction is quite simple but very profound. Now, you might say all that happened in the example was that the person reviewed the data and reached a different conclusion and it happened to be profound. It is the osmosis (subtle or gradual absorption) of breakthrough technology that allows for routine profound breakthroughs. Why was this powerful finding, discovery unseen from the information up to this point?
Again, this concept of distinctions is critical to breakthrough technology and in the breakthrough consulting classes it requires some discussion to make this work. My favorite example of a distinction that portrays the characteristics of distinctions is training someone to ride a bicycle. You can easily tell the person you are training to get on the seat and show them the pedals and how they operate, the brakes and so-on. However, getting them to ride the bicycle is more difficult. You can tell them to start peddling then balance themselves. What do you mean balance? I do not think I can do this, children often feel this way. Once you as the rider make the distinction balance – you have it FOREVER. That is a characteristic of all distinctions, namely once the “light goes on” you will never lose the distinction. Its yours for life. You may have learned riding a bike when you were four years old but at ninety-four years old you still retain the distinction of balance. So two of the characteristics of distinctions are:

  1. Distinctions cannot be taught
  2. Distinctions once realized can never be lost

A little help with “distinctions cannot be taught” is needed. Distinctions need to be invented by you as opposed to my teaching you a distinction. I might be able to provide you some information that allows you to create your version of my distinction. When the technology is flowing within you (and you can lose it) you are continually creating distinctions. The technology (and distinctions is one piece) all fits together very nicely and suddenly you are in an exciting new world – the world of breakthroughs.

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