Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Innovation insights from the Declaration of Independence

In reading through the Declaration of Independence again on this July 4th, I was struck by Jefferson's insight into the conditions necessary for innovation to occur.
All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
People don't like to change, even when their current situation is pretty miserable. Only rarely when the pain becomes unbearable are the conditions right for windows of opportunity to open for fundamental change.

George Fletcher of New Carolina has a great, pithy saying that resonates with Jefferson, "Never waste a good crisis."

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