Are you sheepwalking or are you innovating?

Marketing guru Seth Godin coins new terms and expressions on a regular basis, and this time, he's decided to trade in his Purple Cow for a Purple Sheep. As Godin explains, Sheepwalking refers to the process of just going through the motions and being afraid to fail - and this type of activity even happens at places like Google:

"I define "sheepwalking" as the outcome of hiring people who have been

raised to be obedient and giving them a braindead job and enough fear

to keep them in line...

It's ironic but not surprising that in our age of increased reliance

on new ideas, rapid change and innovation

, sheepwalking is actually on

the rise. That's because we can no longer rely on machines to do the

brain-dead stuff.

We've mechanized what we could mechanize. What's left is to

cost-reduce the manual labor that must be done by a human. So we write

manuals and race to the bottom in our search for the cheapest possible

labor. And it's not surprising that when we go to hire that labor, we

search for people who have already been trained to be sheepish."

Thankfully, of course, not all organizations encourage sheepwalking - but these organizations are the exception rather than the rule:

"What happens when

you build an organization like Goretex [editor's note: W.L. Gore & Associates] or the Acumen Fund? At first, it

seems crazy. There's too much overhead, too many cats to herd, too

little predictability and way too much noise. Then, over and over, we

see something happen. When you hire amazing people and give them

freedom, they do amazing stuff. And the sheepwalkers and their bosses just watch and shake their heads,

certain that this is just an exception, and that it is way too risky

for their industry or their customer base."

[image: Purple Sheep]

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less