Imagine one of the most innovative vehicle inventions coming out of the motor vehicle industry in years. Instantly, our minds go to complicated millennial engineers with advanced training in post-grad CAD-cam design, right? Try a 69-year-old hardware-based guy with no college education. Interestingly, my son, Caleb, tipped me (Doug) off on this story (Thanks Caleb) and it’s nothing short of amazing. Because it took years to launch, it had to be kept top-secret. It’s honestly one of the greatest innovations of our time.
It prompted us to wonder… what innovations do we miss because we discount the potential contribution of a discounted team member. He or she might be young or old, educated or not so much, from a Global North land or not so much, holding a cup of coffee or not… you see, it really is tough to tell. Tomorrow’s innovations are sometimes trapped inside the heads and hearts of people longing for meaning, longing to contribute — if asked. Our challenge is to find them and help them unleash their ideas and imagination, along with their energy and impact. Today, while you work, please try to think outside the box about those on your team — and those not *yet* on your team. Who is your next “Jim Gobart” waiting to be unleashed?