I remember a prof in grad school telling us that happy employees aren’t always productive, but productive employee are typically happy. My academic background is in the field of organizational psychology (behavior, development and leadership) and I’ve always been a student of systems and design. My career has allowed me to work for large corporations and small startups and I’ve frequently been the guy brought in to fix, heal, correct, build or stabilize a company or organization. I enjoy it and I am pretty damn good at it. Want to know my secret?
How did we get here? How did we get to this point? Is this what we should consider to be normal? Let’s talk about tension, confusion, blame, emotional explosions and the role humility and vulnerability might play in healing our community. Let’s talk about how we have moved so far away from a place of restorative justice and think that retribution is the only solution (HINT: when people talk about there being a price to pay, then they are looking for retribution).
“We support startups.”
“We believe in startups.”
“The only thing our startup community needs is a little more capital.”
I have seen communities full of incubators, mentors, programs and good-hearted people. I have seen federal, state and local funds flow into systems promising to launch new ventures, create jobs and stimulate the startup ecosystem. What I haven’t seen are customers. Hell, I rarely even see a willingness to serve as beta testers.
According to the common platitude, attitude is everything. While that looks good on a motivational poster or as a sound bite, it really is meaningless when it comes to innovation.
True and consistent innovation will benefit from a little math. There are two inputs in this innovation equation: creativity and strategy. The degree to which each input is embraced or given priority will determine the outcome.