Good Afternoon Innovation Pioneers, I'm typing this from somewhere over eastern Ohio - on a Delta flight to the homeland - that would be the great state of Maine. Tonight my biggest choice is -- will it be Pats Pizza in Orono with a Geary's Pale Ale or a Lobster Roll at the Sea Dog Brew Pub!
What prompted me to write this is the sudden realization that history is repeating itself - just as Dr. Deming found -- we are finding that the early adopters of the new mindset are international governments and universities/colleges.
Tomorrow Innovation College starts at the Foster Innovation Engineering Center on the U Maine campus. Friday and Saturday we will be holding classes in how to use Cycles to Mastery to teach at Colleges and Universities. We have new teachers being trained from Virginia, Louisiana, Kansas, Washington State and Vermont. This is part of the next wave of schools that are adopting the Innovation Engineering minor.
And that's just the start. I met with the Provost of a major University on Thursday who committed to starting classes this fall and a program of expansion that is faster than any school yet. His direct comment was "We have no choice. We must innovate and we must change how we teach. The academic business model is broken." A key part of his excitement was he fully understood the system nature of our work. He understood and appreciated not only the IE curriculum but also the science behind the Cycles to Mastery teaching technology we utilize and the importance of changing his University culture and his community outside the school.
I'm seeing amazing adoption speeds with Colleges and Universities when you get to the real leadership. The speed that they want to move continues to amaze me. In my "chalk talks" I talk about migration and diffusion as I do with companies. However, over and over again I hear - we have to go faster. We can't wait. It's really amazing.
With international governments the understanding of "the system" problems is much greater than it is in the USA. For some reason they think about the total process - where in the USA while we get very strong support at the city, county, state and federal level it takes longer. It appears that instead of looking at the broader system - we get caught up in thinking about everything based on how it impacts the politics of my "silo," "my party," "my personal self interest," "how could the opposition use this against us." etc, etc, etc.. Fortunately - as we are MIssion driven - we continue forward with an unstoppable momentum. Our mission focus to make a meaningful difference in the world gives us a strength that can endure where the shallow thinking of politics cannot.
I can't share details - however very significant conversations are underway this very week in multiple locations in the world that will cause the movement to become even stronger. These new partners in the movement will make it easier those who have made THE FLIP to the new mindset - no matter what country they are in - to be able to access technologies, export, import, collaborate and achieve constancy of purpose.
A member of the Ranch team sent this email to me from the far east this morning. "Watching the news and national newspapers here in Asia they are all talking about innovation (creating their own new ideas/products and not copying or as they call it “fast followers”). From my meetings with government officials it is clear that technology transfer is a huge, huge problem. It seems like less than 5% of all technologies and research from universities and research centres gets transferred. This is a huge problem and a key focus for governments. I'm not 100% sure what the solution is but offering a solution to this problem would benefit many markets. Technology translation workshops and sites like the NIM are on point with what we need to do as it seems like the key issues are the same: researchers don't think like business people and thus work on research with little promise of commercialization and great technologies can get left behind because people are saying no since they don't understand what is being offered."
Never before - in the history of this crazed adventure that we are on together - have I ever felt more confident in the future of the movement. Our focus - our constancy of purpose - and our commitment to never ending innovation in what we do and how we do it - are right.
I know with certainty that we will Change the World of Innovation - by transforming innovation from a random art to a reliable system with Increased Speed and Decreased Risk.
What I don't know is the timetable :).
And sadly - I also know that we can't help everyone. Not everyone is ready to make THE FLIP. Many won't even start. Many who start will quit. Just as Bill Conway told me "Dr. Deming felt very sad about those who didn't make the transformation. However he didn't waste much energy on them - he always moved forward helping the willing."
Have a great weekend