More thoughts on Innovation

More Thoughts on Innovation

Reading Dr. Campbell’s Letter to the Editor made me again aware of how much we may have lost.

Rob Campbell is one of Saugeen Shores best volunteers. He works with great skill to do wonders for the community. He is highly skilled and intelligent.

Since his retirement from being a dentist, he has become a keystone in the active volunteer network that does so much. He does his work so quietly and with such great skill too. Like any good leader, everyone listens to him.

Rob is at the Museum all the time working on significant projects. He is also a skilled master carpenter and above all a very clear thinker. He works with others with great skill.

He has a fine workshop at home and he uses it on project after project. Back and forth he goes from one good idea and deed after another. He’s also a mainstay in the Chantry Island Project!

He knows how the Campus Idea could have been a game changer for Southampton and Saugeen Shores. Having the School, Museum, Art School and a new Innovation Centre located in a beautiful setting could have changed generations, both scientifically and culturally.

Anyone who knows Rob, will tell you he is a gentleman and a very gentle man, but he is very annoyed. His letter tells me that.

I think there is a disadvantage for many of us who work on projects in the community. It is so much fun and new ideas are so plentiful that we forget there is an opposition out there, whom we don’t see until it is too late. We don’t market to them. We think they see with our focused vision.

Years ago, I wrote a little book called ‘Working with Creative People in 12 Steps’. It was supposed to encapsulate what I have learned over decades of work in research and development organizations.

Chapter 6 talks about what I call ‘Inside Marketing’. It is all about my major failing again and again in the 12 Steps. I always fail to market to those in close proximity to the projects.

I think that everyone nearby ‘gets it’ and why should I waste energy on them. They must ‘get it’! I opt to do outside marketing and am again and again blindsided by those that I think understand. They can kill a project easily by hiding in the shadows and then coming into the light to make the killing blow.

I sense in Rob’s letter that he is terribly disappointed. It never dawned on me, and maybe on Rob too, that such a vocal few could upset and kill such a great idea … an Innovation Institute. Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Energy … what a chance we had, but now it may be all but gone.

Yes, of course Bruce Power could put Innovation out on highway 21 or in some other Community in the County, but it won’t be the same. The Campus idea will be lost and our children and grandchildren will be the worse for it.

Of course Bruce Power will continue to donate to the Museum cause, but the concentration that the Campus would have given us may be gone forever. We could have garnered many others to this centre of culture and innovation to donate to a larger theme and a clearer future.

To review an excellent outline read Innovation Institute – the Big Picture