Religions, Traditions, and the Anti-Innovators

July 3, 2008

Established rules, guidelines, by-the-book procedures, and traditions.  These are all forms of innovation killers.  You here all the time about people and industries that are “set in their ways”.  Anyone or anything who is set in his or her way will not only be content to stay where they are, they will not even accept helpful change when it is presented to them.

Religion is a huge area that conforms to this very problem.  Religions the world over are governed by long standing doctrines and principles, with very little room for change and growth.  It is the very constant and traditional nature of things that make religion appealing to a lot of people.  However, it is those same rigid guidelines that limit the opportunity for change, and the spread of innovative ideals.

Any industry that is bound by traditions will be the slowest to accept new technology and individual advancements that make life better.  It seems that the more social status we give to certain positions, the more we expect them to conform to yesterday’s ideals.  Why is that the larger, longstanding companies are slower to adapt than the smaller companies and startups, yet we still admire them for sticking with their guns?

Maybe if industry leaders were quick to change, the entire industry would move at a faster rate.  Maybe if religions were more open to outside influences, we would not have to constantly debate its place in society.  And maybe, if we were lucky, violence in the name of “god” would ease up.  Innovation is about ideas, and the spread of something new.  Those who are willing to accept is are moving towards tomorrow.  Those who are not, are clinging to the 1900’s.  Let go.

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