"Ours is a living world of continuous creation and infinite variation"

\n

\nOver at the Great Human Capital blog, Margaret Wheatley has written a beautifully moving description of innovation that ties in to many of the themes that will appear here on the Endless Innovation site. According to Margaret, too many organizations fail on their innovation projects because they tend to think of themselves as mechanistic and machine-like. Once they learn to think of themselves as living, breathing systems, it all becomes a lot easier. Notice, too, how she brings up the notion of "continuous creation" and "infinite variation" by referring back to the natural world:


"The\nhuman capacity to invent and create is universal. Ours is a living\nworld of continuous creation and infinite variation. Scientists keep\ndiscovering more species; there may be more than 50 million of them on\nearth, each the embodiment of an innovation that worked.

\n\n

Yet\nwhen we look at our own species, we frequently say we’re "resistant to\nchange." Could this possibly be true? Are we the only species — out of\n50 million — that digs in its heels and resists? Or perhaps all those\nother creatures simply went to better training programs on "Innovation\nfor Competitive Advantage?"  [...]

\n\n

Now\nthat I understand people and organizations as living systems, filled\nwith the innovative dynamics characteristic of all life, many\nintractable problems have become solvable. Perhaps the most powerful\nexample in my own work is how relatively easy it is to create\nsuccessful organizational change if you start with the assumption that\npeople, like all life, are creative and good at change.\n

\n\n

Once\nwe stop treating organizations and people as machines and stop trying\nto reengineer them, once we move into the paradigm of living systems,\norganizational change is not a problem. Using this new worldview, it is\npossible to create organizations filled with people who are capable of\nadapting as needed, who are alert to changes in their environment, who\nare able to innovate strategically."

[image: The story of man]

\n\n

Stress is contagious–but resilience can be too

The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.

Big Think Edge
  • Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
  • Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Do you have a self-actualized personality? Maslow revisited

Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.

Personal Growth

Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists reactivate cells from 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth

"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."

Yamagata et al.
Surprising Science
  • The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
  • Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
  • Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
Keep reading Show less

Believe in soulmates? You're more likely to 'ghost' romantic partners.

Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?

Thought Catalog via Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
  • Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
  • Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
Keep reading Show less