“You may hit me. You may knock me around and knock balls out of the park. But I am always going to get back up and keep coming at you.” — R.A. Dickey
How many of us have this type of attitude no matter what trials we are facing?
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk and have lunch with Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey. It was our first meeting, but I had already met him in the pages of his new book, Wherever I Wind Up. His story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. When I finished the book, I flipped back to the beginning and re-read the words in the quote above. R.A. captured the essence of his life in those sentences and his ability to persevere through almost anything.
Make innovation a study and you inevitably will run into one name: Jeff DeGraff. Dr. DeGraff is a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He’s been called the Dean of Innovation. Before moving to Nashville, I lived in Ann Arbor and had the opportunity to meet him and see him in action. Jeff has worked with some of the biggest global corporations including Apple, Visa, GE, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Jeff when I visited the University of Michigan. He has created an innovation laboratory called the Innovatrium.
Have you ever heard of a pocket veto?
It’s when Congress passes a bill, but the president does not sign it within ten days after Congress adjourns. Effectively, it means that the bill is dead. After all the committee meetings, the bill is passed in the House of Representatives and then the Senate, but the bill does not become law.
The president can sign bills into law or he can veto them. He can also use the political maneuver of a pocket veto and do nothing.
My version of a pocket veto is different. It happens in organizations.
NOTE: Sadly, in July 2012, Jonah Lehrer resigned from The New Yorker and Wired after accusations of plagiarism and making up quotes. The book Imagine was pulled from bookstore shelves and thus is not available.
One of my favorite thought leaders is Jonah Lehrer. He’s a Contributing Editor at Wired, writes frequently for The New Yorker and Radiolab, and I never miss his “Head Case” column in The Wall Street Journal. His book How We Decide was an instant bestseller. On a plane the other day, I struck up a conversation with someone engrossed in his first book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist. My seatmate was sold on getting his newest book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, as soon as he could get his hands on it.
Recently, Jonah answered a few questions about creativity and innovation.
Walter Mosley has written more than 34 acclaimed books, including the bestselling mystery series starring Easy Rawlins of Devil in a Blue Dress fame. Throughout his career, he’s also been the recipient of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His work has been seen on the page, on the big screen, on the theater stage and soon on the small screen (He’s teaming up with Jonathan Demme to co-write a pilot for HBO based on his newest private eye, Leonid McGill). I caught up with Walter when he was visiting Nashville to promote the paperback publication of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.