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CAIL Innovation Blog

Camels on the Horizon ?

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Interesting insight on history and innovation

The founder of Dubai, Sheik Rashid, was asked about the future of his country. He replied – My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I ride a nice car, my son rides a nice car, and my grandson will also ride a nice car – but – my great-grandson will probably be riding a camel again !

When asked why, he replied – Hard times create strong people, strong people create easy times. Easy times create weak people, weak people create difficult times.

Because of this, the need is to raise warriors, so people and society evolve and are strong – and not succumb to being weak, feeling entitled, or parasitic.

Evidence of this from history includes great empires that were created then disappeared – the Trojans, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians, the British …. all within a span of 240 years !

Their demise was not by external enemies – but rot from within !! …. including adherence to tradition, the status quo, low risk tolerance, etc.

To avoid this issue, it’s essential organizations meaningfully improve outcomes with innovation coming from : “Process and Predictability“ + “Insight and Inspiration“ …. the ability to “Walk and Talk“ at the same time !

With this being a challenge in many organizations, it’s up to us to recognize the need to be strong by raising the bar based on – being good at the various forms of innovation, being open minded and enlightened, having a sense of purpose, working smart and hard, recognizing the changing nature of risk, creating significant new value, etc. Or, have the same fate as those in the above list !

This is very relevant now since the greatest generation of our time was 18-year-old kids storming the beaches at Normandy – that led to the end of World War 2 and the subsequent emergence of our modern society. To continue enjoying it, are we able to continue building on it ? Or, have history repeat itself by letting current trends go their course that are heavily influenced by –

A. the meek and those who ignore unpleasant facts
B. people who seek safe places when they see things or hear words that aren’t nice or hurt their feelings
C. those that struggle with – change, adapting, being responsible, learning, making meaningful commitments and tough decisions, etc.

In this context, are you ok with “ riding a camel “ in the future (with current trends continuing) ? Or, innovating for impact to “ keep riding a car “ ?

Feb 22, 2022      –        CAIL Innovation commentary    

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