The Greatest Resource

Day 66 Week 10 Q1 Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Humanity is busy juggling many resources, from multiple kinds of energy to cleaning the plastic from the oceans. Still, the resource that concerns me the most is the greatest resource, and that one is Human Potential. This is why I have spent the last 23 years working on Innovation Management, not to increase industries’ yield or wealth accumulation. A more basic issue is at hand here and now.
Many segments of the population do not get a fair shake, from women, who are the majority group, to all the various minority groups. Others are working on correcting many of these injustices. My concern is a minority group that is not even yet recognized as a minority group, creative outliers. You know, those people constantly get in trouble for asking questions and making unsolicited suggestions. I call these people creative outliers. They tend to be more curious than normal, less accepting of the status quo, and more inconvenient than others, for they threaten the status quo by their very existence. Those who are in power can feel less powerful when this group expresses themselves.
Although creative outliers may rock the boat, the boat often rocks anyway without or without them asking easy and hard questions. The nature of the universe is always changing, and asking questions and searching for answers is part of humanity’s ability to adapt to these changes. In short creative outliers are the people who bring us tomorrow, like it or not.
Human potential is the greatest resource, and it is found in nonlinear abundance in creative outliers, some of whom manage to become innovators. These innovators find ways to manifest their insights in ways that benefit society. Unapplied insights are not worth much to any of us, especially those who have ignored insights. They get depressed by absorbing so much negative feedback instead of being acknowledged and listened to.
It is clear that the decision-makers who ignore the creative outliers often do not think they have much incentive to change, for the change might dislodge them from being decision-makers. Sometimes having great insight is like shining a bright light in a dark room. This can be problematic for the protectors of the status quo.
On the other hand, it is equally clear that the creative outliers have to change their behavior to understand the priorities of the decision-makers better if they are to get any traction at all. Less creative people are less able to come to where the creative people hang out than the creative people are to come to where the decision-makers live.
The responsibility to bridge the gap from being a creative outlier to an adopted innovator has to be bridged by the creative outliers, and they need a safe place to do this. This is why the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute evolved from Howard Lieberman’s Innovation Management courses taught at Cogswell Polytechnical College in 2005 and why the virtual extension of this The Silicon Valley International Innovation Institute has come into being now that ideational proximity is now possible.