Month: January 2015

Chair’s Comments: January 2015

Dr. Christopher R. Forrest

Dr. Christopher R. Forrest

“Innovation is creativity with a job to do.
John Emmerling


“Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter


“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Let me start by wishing all of you a belated Happy New Year with health, happiness, safety and prosperity for the months to come.

It is already more than halfway through the first and coldest month of the year so it can only get better from here right? And besides, the days are getting longer!

Last Chair’s Comments, I expounded about the aspects of creativity that are integral to our specialty. This time, it’s innovation. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, innovation involves “the act of introducing things or methods that are new”. What is interesting to me is the “butterfly” effect of innovation. One thing influencing something seemingly unrelated. Did you know that the English innovation of using coal to make glass in 1611 was integral to development of the champagne world market? French glass was wood-fired, intrinsically weak and prone to failure making storage of the effervescent liquid problematic. English coal-fired furnaces burned at higher temperatures and allowed for stronger glass production. Reinforced English glass bottles (“verre anglais”) resulted in preservation of sparkling champagne and replaced wooden casks thereby allowing it to be transported long distances. The rest is history (true story). New stuff happens every day. It is hard to keep up with innovation. In fact, it can be overwhelming. Especially for someone of my era. Ask your 15 year-old son about the latest in android phones and you will get a snarky answer and withering look of derision.

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