Good Morning Members of the Innovation Movement, For those who say the Innovation Engineering Movement is too passionate - who say we don't like your style - your urgency - your innovation or nothing approach -- we don't like how we are being pushed - we can't handle this much change - be adult - slow down - we change too much -- we can't handle this much change -- let's analyze, analyze, analyze -- lets debate details - let's be adult and mature.
From: James BeaupreSubject: And we thought we had a challenge...Date: October 3, 2012 5:32:53 PM EDTTo: Doug HallDoug,I write to you from eastern Europe and its 10:30ish pm. I find myself asking the question you ask over and over --- "what have I learned?" Allow me to share with you what I've learned in the past 72 hours. The most important thing I have to share is that in all honesty, to reignite American Innovation and Growth is going to be wicked easy....comparatively.Seriously, I speak of the change that must happen for America to remember how the hell we put a man on the moon. In this extremely beautiful country, (the joke goes we only are good at exporting wine, athletes and fashion models), I have discovered the scar that communism has made across our planet. To repair, restart, and innovate in this country requires not only to conquer the fear of failure but to conquer fear of political back lash at every turn which ends careers and futures, the fear of the mafia which ends everything, and to over come the imprint of oppression in communist rule since the 2nd world war.Doug, what has to be done in America is peanuts. Anyone who dares say that it is impossible to change should be ashamed when people in this circumstance are willing to lay EVERYTHING on the line. The phrase "the risk of doing nothing is far greater then trying to do anything" is so true here and the contrast is so large. We need truly need to go faster, faster, faster because when people with this motivation catches America, our country will have a massive new mountain to climb. Screw China, these people want to innovate for their lives, there is no greater passion or motivation that I know of. I know what its like to fight for you life, there is nothing which can drive anyone harder.
In the north of the county, I visited a school where I introduced about 50 students to the topic. They seemed to get a little excited but then they seemed to shut themselves off, the largest most visible internal NO I've ever seen. It was very sad, their professor later told me, that individuality and success was not something that has been encouraged in many years. He continued by saying, he now knows that from that spark that these students do have some passion (from that little glimmer) and he is hungry for the right system to leverage the abilities of the students he’s teaching. He also said, that he would drive 3 hours south to see me at an evening round table in the capital (which he did) because he had forgotten why he wanted to teach, he had forgotten was it was like to provide the chance of change, the change to innovate, and he wanted to just spend time with my energy. Talk about a super humbling experience.In the capital I met faculty who started a new university from the ground up because the state school was hurting the progress of students! They totally get why we had to restart a teaching method, they restarted a SCHOOL! They are only worried about how to make the changes sustainable, and they understand the true value of Innovation Engineering. I say again, we must lead, help, and learn, otherwise…the world is coming and we don’t see it beyond our safe boarders. (yes it was easier to enter this country then it was to enter our embassy, even easier then leaving Maine!, the stop for tolls was longer!) I lectured to 20 or so students at this school, who having been in this new format asked more questions about the why and the how of Innovation Engineering that I’ve ever had from a company, let alone a class. These students are looking for a way to save their future! They are trying to start new companies among all the factors against them because they know it’s the only way they will succeed and have any future! I am meeting with three of these students tomorrow and will let you know more about their passion and drive.I also met with the Minister of Science, who knows that after the new elections she’s out of a job because her party will be out of power. Talk about a serious death threat. Yet she believes that our program is needed to help the universities here sustain economic development. She even wants to come see what we have done at the Student Innovation Center and the target incubator because she knows with out at least trying something there no future for these endeavors. She flat out said, we must try other wise there is nothing.
Finally tonight I meet with a group of young adults at a community center. As I was talking about death threats a young man raised his hand. He said that after lots of attempts and effort he had decided he would leave the country to start his business because there was so much difficultly for him to do so at home. How many American’s would be willing to leave their home today to have attempt at success? Doug, seriously, this experience has been crazy.
We need to set the example for the world again, because the world is waiting. The opportunity is here, and we need to run for the end zone. Doug….there is nothing more important to do. The implications I thought which drove my passion are insignificant compared to what the true potential of change is, and I believe are greater than what you imagine, and it now makes sense why a 90 year old man (Dr. Deming) did 40 sessions a year.
The need for change cannot wait any longer, in some ways we maybe too late. We must act now to build a model that the world can once again look to. The manifesto you and everyone has put together doesn’t even come close to the dire consequences of inaction. This is the race, this is the only game that matters. Yes, I’m jacked on Balkan espressos, but it is ridiculous to observe how far we need to come in making people aware that
If we do not innovate, the US will not be in any position to matter for the next 30 years. America will turn into the world’s version of GM and Ford compared to the world’s Toyota and Honda. Its coming and we need to not wait for it to happen but we need to lead, we need to LEAD.
Otherwise the demise of the American dream is certain, so there is truly nothing more important to do.
-- James J. Beaupré, Ph.D., E.I. Innovation Engineer Department of Industrial Cooperation University of Maine