Thursday, February 24, 2011

Innovation and Human Evolution

The collective set of jobs, businesses and organizations today are really us, humanity, engaged in our collective needs -
  • better utilizing our collective resources and
  • defending ourselves against collective threats (diseases, natural disasters, nutrition, etc)-
  • everything else is really the cost of co-existance (e.g. wars, regime changes, etc).

I believe that the nature of our collective needs has evolved and will evolve. I believe that the pace of this evolution will fasten in an increasingly connected and inclusive world. I foresee that this will result in career paths, markets and organizations evolving and dying faster.

I think there is a definite need for us, humanity, to brace for the impacts of this evolution - build faster means to train and engage people, quicker ways to get new products to market and lower costs of organizational failure. Although this might not look like an urgent issue, humanity has a learning cycle and that means we should probably start looking at this evolution and its impact on us sooner.

I sense that in the long term, the direction of this evolution is the change of humanity's enagement

  • from resource cornering (on earth)
  • to innovation garnering (for better utilization of resources, better defenses against natural disasters, etc).  
I think this change, away from 'resource cornering', will not be because everyone will have all resources they need but because collectively humanity would have tapped into every resource on earth, in the future, and therefore there would be not much scope for human engagement in cornering futher resources. Innovation garnering, on the other hand, will continue to engage humanity in continuously defending itself and optimizing resources - e.g. there might always be a disease to discover and cure, there might always be an efficiency improvement on power transmission or such others.

What does this mean for you or me, as an individual? I think it means we should start aligning ourselves, our work and our careers towards innovation orientation - start questioning why something cannot be done in someway, find problems that need solving, etc.