An Innovator has an Obligation to… Learn!

Editor’s note: we invite you to Kim Chandler McDonald’s weekly interactive forum — to read and collect your comments on “An Innovator has an Obligation to…” We hope you’ll join the conversation!

Week 17 theme is “Learn”

If, as George Carlin said, “An artist has an obligation to be en route.” Please complete this sentence: An innovator has an obligation to…

– be open and learn from the latest insights.Dirk Rejahl, Product Owner and Digital Services Business Architect

– push forward his own ideas! And to learn how to sell them to whatever stakeholders he has.Adriano La Vopa, Open Innovation Manager at Philips

– The only valuable action is ‘LEARNING”, all along your life .Eric Offenstadt, Senior Technical Consultant at G.C.A

Editor’s bonus, for those familiar/unfamiliar with Alvin Toffler:

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Alvin Toffler, Futurist and author

Additional Quotes from Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World

“Artists of the Renaissance lived and worked, often with their student-helps.  You might have six of the greatest painters in history working right next to each other, each in his or her studio, looking over their shoulders, each watching what the other guy was doing, borrowing ideas, tweaking each other’s inventions… collaborating!  Ateliers were the Skunk Works of the past. ” Robert Jacobson, Ph.D, Principal, Bluefire Consulting.  (Excerpt from Chapter 7, ‘The state of the nation addressed: Taking stock of how things stack up’)

“I’ve also been coaching soccer for the last twelve years or so, and that’s one of the messages you find yourself preaching at work, and on the soccer field, to young people learning the trade.  Particularly today in Science you can be the equivalent of a Ronaldo or a Messi and feature in some short term returns by being totally individualistic.  However, if you want to make a real contribution you need to develop the individual skills that can make you a valuable member of a functional, integrated and highly effective team” Professor Gordon Wallace, Australian Laureate Fellow, Exec. Research Director at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science and Director of the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute at the University of Wollongong.  (Excerpt from Chapter 4, ‘Me-Health: Resolute and committed stakeholders at the heart of the healthcare industry’)

“If William Pitt the Elder, British Prime Minister from 1766 – 1778 was correct in his statement, “Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the mind of those who posses it”, it may do us good to think what effect unlimited access to innovative tools and technologies will have on us as individuals and as a society. Will the potential to be online and constantly connected – perhaps by wearing ‘Google goggles’ that stay with you through your every waking moment – enhance our lives, or decimate our ability to have meaningful, person-to-person, encounters?  Should we aim to learn how to play well and wisely, not just with each other, but with technology and innovation? Will we become more connected to these things in a spiritual sense, as our physical, emotional and economic connection to them evolves? These are not ‘black and white’, easily answered questions but they are, perhaps, ones that should give us pause as we hurl ourselves headlong towards our great, innovative future together.” – (Excerpt from the author’s introductory essay to Chapter 7, ‘Being grounded when the sky’s the limit’)

If you would like to ‘have your say’, feel free to join in by sharing your thoughts below, and on the Innovation Excellence LinkedIn group forum!

You can also explore past themes, such as: Play, Create, Think, Challenge, Improve, Fail, Address Need, Share, Question, Communicate, Be Open, Journey, Be Strategic, Implement, Develop and be Agile and Adaptable.

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  • Kim Chandler McDonald is author of Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World (available in print as an industry-first, SmartMark enabled, Online Ecosystem), as well as the Co-Founder and Flat World Navigator at KimmiC, a company specializing in leading edge innovations such as FlatWorldâ„¢ – digital technology that empowers end users to easily capture, collaborate and capitalize on ideas, information and knowledge assets.

    Kim Chandler McDonald




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