Innovation Consequences

Day 332 Week 48 Q4 Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Innovation always has consequences. And you may not know what all of them are when you head down the innovation path. You may not feel that you are responsible for the consequences because it is impossible to anticipate all of the ramifications of changing a situation.

Nevertheless, as an innovator, you are, in fact, a change agent. And if you are an agent of change, then you have some responsibility for that change or those changes. Rocking the boat does not always make the boat go faster, and sometimes it makes it sink. But if the boat is stuck in the mud at low tide, you have to rock it to get it out. And if this Tod starts to come back in, rocking it will get you out a little sooner.

The consequences of innovation may be far more serious for a government official than for a chef. We do not expect mayors to make decisions in the same way that artists do. One of the reasons I have become a jazz musician because there are not that many consequences associated with taking chances. This is especially true if you are not recording it but just performing live.  Of course, you may lose your audience if you improvise and make mistakes.  But if you improvise in the confines of your own house and you are by yourself, then the only consequences are the ones in between your ears.

Of course, you want people to hear your improvisations, and presumably, that means you need to either perform in front of people or record and then send the music out into the universe. When it becomes time to graduate from playing by yourself in your house to exposing your musical ideas to others, then you have to think about innovation consequences.

You may have invented a new genre that other people really do not want to hear. Of course, you will never know this unless you expose your music to other people. The same is true for inventions, literature, paintings, and anything else that is an innovation you want to get into a feedback loop with reality.

There are definitely consequences for getting into a feedback loop with reality. You might get negative feedback. You might get positive feedback. You might get no feedback at all. The consequences of these three responses can vary widely. They can impact your self-esteem, your confidence, your income, and even your relationships. So, it is understandable why creative outliers frequently do not reveal their work product, even to themselves.

You may have to compartmentalize to not dwell upon the consequences prematurely because they can hang you up and prevent you from completing your project or process. Therefore, you can understand that there are consequences and still shield yourself from them long enough to complete what you were working on.

Innovation consequences are very real.