February 02, 2008
John Kao over at Huffington Post
Says John, "History will show America's current innovation melt-down to have been an egregious self-inflicted wound. I would need ten times this space just to recite a list of dismal facts about how poorly our national innovation system is performing. Some headlines: our young scientists are abandoning their careers with increasing frequency, talent is increasingly not coming to our storied shores, our public education and R & D are showing significant erosion, we're strapped for cash, other countries are leading us in a growing number of scientific fields, and nobody seems to care.
The innovation frame in national politics has been conspicuous by its absence. Instead, we have heard increasingly frequent (and tedious) calls for change. But change is driven by innovation, which is the wellspring of progress. Change has to be about something or it is just novelty. In other words, if change is the answer we seek, what is the question? And, it is a multitude of changes - driven by innovation capability and harnessed to a compelling national idea - that leads to transformation. Otherwise, change is just...change.
Wise corporate leaders have always known that change is galvanized in the presence of a set of big ideas that set the vector and allow countless instances of innovation to drive it. We need to have a sense of where we are going if we are to arrive at a meaningful destination."
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