Cohort Trajectory

Day 6 Week 1 Q1  Friday, January 6, 2023

SVIII cohorts are ten-week trajectory innovator flywheels that meet online once per week. The ten-week sessions sequentially consider stages in moving from creative outlier toward sustainable innovator. The ten steps are Creative Outlier, MeaningPlace, Innovation Culture, Flywheel, Actionable Vantage Point, Solve Contributors and Managers, P5 ISPER Innovation Management Process, Executives and Innovation Governance, Harvesting Infinity, and Sustainable Innovator. These will be expanded upon in the coming week’s postings.

First, I would like to explain why these cohorts exist by describing a little more about the two endpoints; creative outlier and sustainable innovator. There is an assumption as SVIII that all humans are born with the potential to be creative outliers. That is to say that all children are born as creative outliers and exhibit creativity as they work to make sense of the world they are finding themselves in. On the other hand, a small minority of “grownups in the thirty to forty-year-old age group consider themselves to be creative.

What happened to transform creative children into uncreative adults? Socialization is the act of learning how to fit in the world, the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society. Reasonable people faced with reasonable situations are risk averse and with good reason. Why rock the boat if things are going well? The potential downside is things may get worse. The haves has more power and influence than the have-nots, and they want to keep it. This is understandable, except not the best situation for anyone with new ideas, so gradually, or perhaps not so gradually, children stop trying to rock the boat. 

By the time an adult has bills to pay and a family to raise, they usually have shed their creative interests, at times first converting these creative interests, proclivities and orientations to hobbies.  When someone has a mortgage and a child, most of the hobbies are gone. But there is a group who stubbornly persist in being creative, having insights, and wanting change. And this group is in the minority. Oh, there are many complainers, but it is not them I am speaking of. It is the doers, not the complainers, who continue to build prototypes, do experiments, and make works of art even though they may not get very much positive feedback for pursuing activities other than wealth, security, and power.

Those who press onward to pursue self-expression, to start companies, or to invent new fields of study have to color outside the box. They are not mainstream, they are creative outliers, and it is this population SVIII wants to help. And to help in a very specific way. SVIII wants to help creative outliers become sustainable innovators.

The reason is simple. An even smaller percentage of creative outliers become sustainable innovators than the already small percentage of creative children who grow up as creative outliers.  If only 1 out of 100 children grows up to be fantastically creative, then only 1 out of 100 of them turn out to be sustainable innovators. This is a relatively small one in ten thousand. And don’t hold me to these numbers; this is a concept. You can substitute one in ten adults who grows up to be fantastically creative, and one in ten of them turns out to be sustainably innovative. Then the result is one in 100 creative kids becomes sustainable by innovating. The point is humanity is neglecting its creativity and right now is potentially facing two terrible problems. We may inadvertently wipe ourselves out with climate change by not listening to creative solutions. And if individuals do away with democratic, collaborative decision-making and instead give up their personal power to those dominated by greed, power and ego, then no collaboration can occur. And without collaboration and civil discourse, no problems will be solved at all.

The bottom line, from my perspective, is there is a considerable innovation gap between two groups of outliers, decision-makers and innovators. These two groups of outliers do not fraternize much.

What if there was a safe place for creative outliers to creatively show up and learn how to approach better being sustainable innovators? 

The Silicon Valley International Innovation Institute is such a place.