A Recipe for Innovation

August 31 2009, 5:47pm

Some ask how it is possible that I can be a political science major, with a minor in Asian American studies; additionally have a concentration in business administration, and so many more interests in between?

Simply put, it is because I have a natural curiosity that drives me to understand the world around me and its many nuances. Granted, there are too many things out there to learn in a lifetime, I have been able to focus my studies on a couple of areas including:

Human Capital Management
Customer Service Management
Experience design
Social Media
Real-time Web
Policy Making

Such a breadth of subjects to focus in on, and yet, this has allowed for something quite magical to happen. It has given me the ability to innovate in a, dare I say, innovative way. It is a means by which I believe companies will drive innovation in the future and provide for the development of more jobs.

No longer will research or innovation be driven by silo-ed departments (for instance, health sciences only using health science literature to inform scientific and business development). Instead, there will or at least should be a cross breeding of disciplines. Taking the example of health science, though not at all apparent, there may very well be great benefit in pairing current research with such used in chemical engineering, social media, and/or even economics. Many of the most successful things, companies, and people including the internet; Cisco, Google, Bell Labs; and the vice-chairman of Citigroup now counsel for President Obama, Lewis Kagan (a mathematics and history major, later JD); have thrived from the combination of disciplines.

Looking at myself, though the benefits of having such a breadth of knowledge, skills, and abilities may not be apparent; it has lent itself to developing this unique eye for innovation.

Especially in these trying times, it is an asset that I am quite proud of. And, though the road has been rough in terms of letting others know why I chose the path I chose, in retrospect, it is also one that I would not change. I can only hope that others share my views, help me out, help others out, and develop their own special mix of disciplines to create a newer, better, more vibrant... and innovative, economy.