Sustainable Innovator 1

Day 199 Week 29 Q3 Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Let’s work backward from what it means to be a sustainable innovator. A sustainable innovator is an innovator who does not have to stop innovating until and unless they want to. This means that the past innovating supports the future innovating. And to remind everyone what’s meant by innovating, innovation is applied insight. In other words, if there is no insight, this is not innovation, and if it is not applied it translates into having to not having been adopted.

If you have a lot of great ideas and wonderful insights, but they are neither manifest nor adopted, then no, they are not applied, and therefore you are not an innovator. Your ideas have to be applied to something. You must be in a feedback loop with reality, not just your imagination. A person with great ideas is not necessarily an innovator, but all innovators do have great ideas.

You can not consider yourself an innovator unless you do something more than talk and plan. Innovating is an addictive energizing activity. Once you have innovated, meaning your ideas have been applied and adopted, it is hard to unthink those feelings and thoughts.  It is intoxicating to have experienced the act of creating tomorrow, and once you have done this, there is not much else that satisfies you.

Therefore the desire arises to become a sustainable innovator because to start and not continue is a real bummer. It has been said it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved. And I suppose the same could be said about innovation, but in both cases, it is better not to stop loving and not to stop innovating.

Both of these require a significant amount of work.  And they are both about relationships first with yourself and then with others. If you do not have a decent relationship with yourself, it is hard for you to have a decent relationship with anyone else. Therefore the very first step in being a sustainable innovator or being in rapport with others is to be in a sustainable rapport with yourself. In other words, you need to be internally calibrated before becoming externally calibrated, which is easier said than done for most people. Some people are pleasers trying to make sure everyone around them is happy. If you can make yourself happy and also make others happy, this is sustainable, but if you can only make others happy and not yourself, this is a problem.  

I do not think that most innovators are primarily people pleasers, and I do think they innovate because they want to, not because someone else told them to. In fact, innovators are change agents, and as such, they tend to make at least some others nervous at least some of the time.

Before you can become sustainable without, you have to become sustainable within.