An Innovator has an Obligation to…Play

by Kim Chandler McDonald

Editor’s note: we invite you to Kim Chandler McDonald’s weekly interactive forum — to read and collect your comments on  “An Innovator has an Obligation to…”   We hope you’ll  join the conversation!

Week o1 theme is “play”

If, as George Carlin said, “An artist has an obligation to be en route”

Please complete this sentence: An innovator has an obligation to…

– to be playful. – Linda Boardman Fite, Vice President, Change Management at Pritchett, LP

– put the status quo in question permanently, with the chance to learn every day!Marcus Kottinger EMEA BA SC Process Owner at Siemens PLC

do things differently and do different things. Innovators are creators. If you heard as a child “why can’t you be like other kids,” then you might just be a natural innovator! Chad McAllister, PhD, Author of ‘Turning Ideas into Market-Winning Products’ , Product Development, Management, Innovation Trainer & Coach

ask bold questions, forget the status quo, think differently and most importantly play!Raymond Tilkens, Business Development Manager at John Deere

understand that in the marketplace for ideas, confidence sells much better than competence.  This is unfortunate, as the real experts are aware of, and likely to discuss the various pitfalls, while a glib amateur wastes millions stumbling into them anew.  In some situations, we have to abandon academic standards, and play the huckster.   Every invention poses a threat to the business it can replace, so there is more trickery than good sense involved in getting it through to consumers if one is not a billionaire. Bob Stuart, Independent Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Professional

– play their position and keep doing it, don’t get hung up on implementation, or (worse yet) administration.Harry Jones, Consultant

…let’s not forget that innovation and innovating can be great fun. Perhaps the best exemplars of this are children who, in exploring the world for the first time, are inveterate innovators. Constantly curious, children are full of wonder: they imagine, ask why, and what if. Unafraid to touch, try, run and fall, they get back up and try again. They play – and are well aware it’s much more fun to play together than to play alone.– Excerpt from the Summary of Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World

If you would like to ‘have your say’, feel free to join in by sharing your thoughts below, and on the Innovation Excellence LinkedIn group forum!

image credit: a kim chandler mcdonald childhood photo

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Kim Chandler McDonaldKim Chandler McDonald is author of Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World, as well as the Co-Founder and Flat World Navigator at KimmiC, a company specializing in  leading edge innovations such as FlatWorld™ – digital technology that empowers endusers to easily capture, collaborate and capitalize on ideas, information and knowledge assets.


  1. Shahul Hameed Mohamed Ibrahim

    Assessing with support of right and curious sense THE INNOVATOR by his extreme perseverance and excellent dedicative attitude stand forward to prove his produce-procure-extraordinary acceessiblity into common flow so as to reach on to avail the beneficial worthy. Such INNOVATOR truly could be merited as a MOTHERLY devoted performance that should be glorified and at the same time,giving an unsuited optional word ‘obligation’ which apparently devalue his ultimately distiguished efforts.While deeply scrutinizing the assuring compatibility of INNOVATOR with the fame of INVENTOR we have to accept the former’s status as sister concern with the later.Noticeably THE INVENTOR’S endeavor mature the reach once invented that been brought into the utility stage,notwithstandingly THE INNOVATOR once produce at focus on to viabilty,his abled effort never touch the end. Because he has to keep a close eye and mind on functional flow on successful carry over of his theoretical innovation.Some expert defined the difference between a TEACHER and RAILWAY GUARD,and explains THE TEACHER trains the mind where as THE RAILWAY GUARD minds the train.Thus it proves the railway guard has to be innovative on throughout safe run of train,until the reach of destination.So my sicere obligation sensitively here in like to express the title of INNOVATOR would be avoided the given word of ‘obligation’ despite the word ‘induction’could be offered. The Innovator has to be well acquainted with his innovation from the initial step unto onward utility util any further renovation.

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