Innovation as a nice word evokes a sense of action, of bold and positive enterprise. But innovation as an actual action faces an unpleasant reality. All too often innovation is the wish that, unfortunately, came true. In what we call “Western “ society there are all kinds of social, political and economic strictures in place that stop innovation from occurring; let alone taking root in the economy. Innovation, nonetheless, slips thinnovationrough the cracks, and in doing so makes “Western “ society better fed, in better health, better educated and better in pretty much everything else in comparison with non “Western” societies in which the strictures against innovation are much more effective.

Edwards-Deming cautioned us that the willingness to change, to innovate, occurs only when extinction is the only alternative. There is a corollary to this one of Edwards-Deming’s laws of human nature: When innovation prospers, it is at the expense of its predecessor. Think about almost any device or product, or even idea, in daily use and you will certainly remember a long-gone predecessor. No company, no institution, no human organization, no grand theory, no religion; none of them would willingly agree to be the predecessor of something better, something innovative.
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