eyeing the life patterns of successful innovators

If there is one thing that I have noticed after interviewing hundreds of humans for my podcast is that most people who are in the innovation space end up there due to an amazingly diverse background.

Some come from the product space, others from the technology space, still others come from the design space.

One of the key differentiators that I have seen among all of the innovators who have come on my show is the diversity of backgrounds – some have had a diverse set of life experiences. Some have lived in many different places, learning from those places and creatively mashing up lessons learned in all of those places. Still, others have experienced many different kinds of relationships with many different kinds of people.

The one glaringly obvious trait that they all have is open-mindedness. They are not closed off to new ideas. They are observant and contemplative. They are apt to see juxtapositions and combinations of their various experiences, mashing them up to glean innovative new solutions.

It’s definitely true that a diversity of experience, a diversity of space, and a diversity of friends and family leads to an innovative life.

Sure, some of the folks I talk to – especially the corporate innovators, in large staid major corporates – have the toughest time of them all – trying to change a culture that sometimes seems impervious to change. But even those dedicated souls can see some movement, especially when innovating with the low-hanging fruit – showing early promise and then moving to the more disruptive and innovative spaces.

We are all vanguards of the future, striving to have our employers, clients, and customers see that change is not a scary thing but a fact of life.

Change is life and the future, and some of the most successful of us can make that happen, even in the most recalcitrant organizations. Another thing that binds us, innovators, together is a seemingly unfettered optimism that if they work hard and long enough to deliver innovation within their organizations, the culture will slowly change to one where innovation changes.

Eventually, disruptive innovation will not only be welcomed but embraced. So here’s to all of you innovators, sometimes toiling in the salt mines of a company unwilling to change – my advice is to keep moving forward – eventually, your efforts will be rewarded.

If not in this company, maybe the next – where you can bring your bold visions to fruition. Your work is never pointless – whenever you can work to innovate within an organization, you are powerful for the world. Just think of all of the innovations that we would be without today had there not been pioneering folks like yourself spearheading things like Google, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Apple, and Amazon. Would we be able to make some extra cash with Doordash, Instacart, Airbnb, or Uber?

Would we be able to test our products without Kickstarter or Indiegogo? And where would we be if we could not connect humans to other humans via blogs, podcasts, and YouTube channels?

Innovators have built the world we live in, and judging by the high caliber of the humans that I’ve interviewed, we’ll continue to strive to elevate humans and help them flourish even more.


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