…And Nothing Was Ever the Same Again

It’s been a month of Sundays since I’ve posted. What’s even more embarrassing is that they’re sitting on the drive waiting to get uploaded! Geez. Well, turning over a new leaf for this last week before Christmas. I’ll upload them and date them with the actual dates to make an effort to preserve the timeline.

Speaking of Sundays, I normally go to the 9:30 Mass, but I was in the middle of a project, so I decided to go to the 11:30 instead, see new faces, etc. Fr. Larry always gives good homilies, reading through them is just a selection of better or best. (No that’s not a sponsored tweet!) 🙂 One of the most interesting things about listening to a good speaker is that certain lines can resonate, can pull up memories or spark ideas completely unrelated to the topic at hand. For me this morning that line was “…And Nothing Was Ever the Same Again.” It hit me like a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious), that is exactly what innovation does!

Innovation brings changes into our world, whether that’s process, product or people. Before Stephen was born, I really didn’t have any concept of how the miracle of bringing a child into the world fundamentally alters your existence.

Anyone exposed to martial arts training has heard the phrase, “embrace your opponent.” It’s a discipline that has to be drilled into the 85% who are not early adopters. Embracing the creative destruction that admittedly useful innovation brings about requires that that the baseline and mid-level needs in Maslow’s hierarchy are met or you’re not going to have innovation, you’re going to have rebellion. Many barrels of ink have been spilt on this topic (and more electrons in the future to be sure!) yet rather than become trite, it seems to be a message that never gets old:

Simply put, an innovative culture is a trusting culture. There are thousands of variations on the theme just like there are thousands of variations of a banana split, all equally delicious! What does trust mean to you? How do you live that meaning in your day-to-day life such that you “preach without words” after the manner of St. Francis?

How do we create trust? Typically by having a series of interactions where both parties do what they promise to do. Or, you could just use nasal spray. Studies aside, trust is a “necessary but not sufficient condition” to bring about the creativity that delivers innovation to the marketplace.

Recently I interviewed a wonderful man as a potential executive director for a non-profit just starting up, for which I’ve been tagged as the IED. (That’s Interim Executive Director, not Improvised Explosive Device, for all you conspiracy theorists out there… 🙂 This retired high-tech guy has 27 patents!! Part of the answer to “how?!” is that this was a global products firm with a highly recognized brand name, who had the process down pat.

They had the patent committee, the patent attorneys, the support staff. Ideas in, patents out. Not that easy to be sure, but light-years more productive than a self-funded start-up working to complete the nefarious paperwork required for a Small Business Innovation Grant. SBIR clearly occupies one of the rings of Danté’s Inferno. Which one depends on the day you ask me. But I digress.

Morris’s achievements go way beyond just tech. His social service résumé was a wedding cake of accolades, because he took what he learned in tech, wove it into the fabric of his personal faith and built bridges that allowed many others to go faster and farther than they could before he arrived. That’s one of the most essential and oft-most-ignored aspects of innovation culture.

I’m stopping this in the middle, but it’s all I have time for this afternoon. I’ll continue this in the next post of this series on “Weaving Faith, Finance and Family into the Fabric of Our Future.”

Carpe Diem!

Matt

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A walk in the forest…

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