When Innovation Gets Difficult

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Nov 12, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

David Wiley comments on innovation in institutions. "Imposing your will on bits and bytes is "easy." Leading an established institution through the valley of the shadow of reform and up the opposite bank toward innovation is "hard." But it is absolutely critical work, and precious few people are in positions that afford them opportunities to provide this kind of leadership." My own take on the reason for this is that the process that select for "leaders" select people who precisely are not innovative. The greatest predictor for promotion in an organization is obedience. Creative thinkers are filtered out early in the process. That's why I still prefer to work outside the organizational framework - life is too short to spend trying to persuade people conditioned to conformity.
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