He also writes the Think for a Change blog.
And, he has authored 2 excellent books on innovation and its execution.
He spoke with me last year about his books, his passion for innovation, and the institute he founded: American Institute for Innovation Excellence.
I asked him what thoughts would he offer to President Obama that would help us regain our position as the global leader of innovation.
Ok, so you’ve written some about the importance of imagination in the process of innovation. Let’s imagine...tonight you get a phone call from the 202 area code. It catches you on a good night; you’re willing to be patient with a telemarketer. You answer. It’s President Obama. He saw your site, heard you here on the show. And he’s kinda busy. So he wants your 3 tips, your 3 steps, for America to take to bring us back to being the number one country for innovation. And creating a few jobs along the way might help too.
What do you tell him?
And he returned with an excellent answer:
That’s a good one.
I think number we have to figure out a way to release the money stranglehold and move some money around. That’s really what’s holding the economy back. Businesses aren’t investing any money because the customer is not buying; the customer is not buying because they’re worried about their jobs.
Somehow you have to make the entrepreneur focus on creating and free them from punitive taxation, excessive regulation. Just bring some stability back to the financial system, maybe the political system and take a step back from the quarterly focus.
Ok. There’s stability here. I can make some longer term investments for the future.
We really need to start teaching STEM again in the schools. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. I talk to a lot of people at IBM and GE and they’re in a panic over the lack of qualified replacements for their retiring engineers.
We need to push kids into these scientific type disciplines. We’re really starting to fall behind in that. We need to get past the touchy-feely type stuff taught in schools.
We really need that national BHAG or Big Hairy Audacious Goal from the Collins model. What’s our 21st century moonshot? What’s the thing that gets the nation all behind the innovation and experimentation and challenges to technology. There’s really nothing out there right now we could all get behind and focus our energy and resources. That would be a big step.
Want More from Paul R. Williams?
You can find out more of Paul R. Williams' thoughts on innovation when we spoke recently.
- Read transcripts from our conversation here.
- Listen to our conversation here.
- Read his blog
- Follow him on Twitter
Buy his books
Some may say this is inappropriate.
This is politics! And you never discuss politics at Thanksgiving Dinners, backyard barbecues and on a business radio show.
I disagree. As long as only politicians can discuss solutions for our country then those solutions and their interested audiences will remain off-limits, political, for those who make this brand, our country, run. And only politicians, these days that's only career politicians, can discuss those ideas and spoon-feed solutions to the public.
I see our times as an all hands-on-deck opportunity and not a crisis. That opportunity is for each of us to lend our hands, our conversations, our ideas to find and share solutions. In our absence those challenges are left to ideologues, vested interests and politicians of all stripes and partisan persuasion. We...are the only ones with vested interests.
And now we have, with social media and the urgency of today, the opportunity to reclaim our place at this table and discuss our ideas to solve our challenges. At the very least, we can listen to a discussion until we are ready to speak up.