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Innovate Now: Necessitate change

Innovate Now! (U.S. Air Force graphic/James Rainer)

Innovate Now! (U.S. Air Force graphic/James Rainer)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Familiarity is comfortable. For that reason, change is uncomfortable.

History could be viewed as one long story of fighting against change; such as the story of the Luddites, who fought against the industrial revolution, or, in the folktale story of John Henry Irons.

Irons was the best of his kind. No one could swing a hammer with his skill, force and precision. Everything changed for him with the invention of the steam-powered hammer. Irons refused to believe he was no longer the best around so he challenged the engine to a race.

While he did win the race, the effort cost him his life; literally dying of exhaustion. At the end of the day, the steam engine claimed victory over Irons and his hammer. 

The moral of the story is to get out in front of change.

The early adaptors of new technology are the winners. John Henry would have been better off if he had adapted to the new world he was faced with instead of clutching onto his old ways. 

Irons was swinging an obsolete hammer.

We are faced with a new world, every day. In light of this, ask yourself, what hammers are we swinging now?  What things are we doing that should be obsolete?

Be the early adaptor and move your ideas forward.

(Editor's note: This commentary is September's submission and part of a yearlong series from the Innovate Now Team.)