“Conventional wisdom” . . . . a generally accepted theory or belief
Is deferring to conventional wisdom wise? Yes . . . ish
Why do you get the oil in your car changed every 3,000 miles? Have you researched the design of your car’s engine to validate this bit of conventional wisdom? Have you explored alternatives?
You don’t have the time, energy, or resources to validate every generally accepted belief in your world. You rely on beliefs that bubble to the surface from the concoction of the observations and experiences of others.
However, make no mistake; conventional wisdom is a lagging indicator because it reflects where we have been, but not where we are going.
Conventional wisdom is our rearview mirror. Relying on this reflection to drive your car may work, but only if the road ahead is the same as the road behind.
Creativity, innovation, and effective leadership represent efforts to drive the car by looking down the road, which is, invariably, a poorly lit and winding side street in an unfamiliar town during the season’s worst pre-dawn fog.
It is reasonable to slow down the car and rely on the crystal clear view that the rearview mirror provides.
But as George Bernard Shaw observed:
Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.