Independent thinkers have a way of upsetting people. Economics Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps is a good example. Progressives take issue with his scrupulous analysis of government stimulus spending while conservatives are offended by the way he characterizes their political ethos as having created the corporatist value system. Independent thinkers are often innovative thinkers who are not easy to situate in traditional terms or corral in conventional boundaries. They travel in the undiscovered country of the new. (more…)

Ornithologists report that New Caledonian crows fashion twigs into tools for collecting and extracting insects from the hollows of trees. What is more remarkable is that these birds pass their inventions along tox others in the flock. With each succeeding migration and generation, improvements are made and progress becomes discernible. Even in the animal kingdom, the ability to search and reapply know-how is a key attribute that moves a species from survival to prosperity.

Just as the guru tutors the novitiate so does the goldsmith his apprentice. The same is true for officers and engineers and in all fields where the mastery of craft is a matter of certification. The greater enlightens the lesser. The maxim is “See One, Do One, Teach One” or as the sensei might say “SODOTO.” (more…)

Innovation isn’t change. It may seem like a minor difference but this is actually a huge distinction. Change is moving away from something; innovation is moving towards something.

Moving away from something is always traumatic while moving towards something is almost always a euphoric experience. Consider the following two examples of friends of mine who lost their positions during the Great Recession. Both are remarkable men with sterling credentials and prodigious ambition. Each is the primary earner in their household and takes their obligations to their families seriously. These kinds of people are seldom unemployed even in the worst circumstances. (more…)