Friday, April 18, 2014

How to Engender Innovation

The other day I was with friends, and one of them did something curious.  Curious to me that is.  I honestly wanted to know why she did it that way, so I asked.  That was my first mistake.  She promptly told me she was, " no mood to argue."

You see, it took me a long time to figure out that my female friends don't like to be disagreed with, and even longer to learn that they call disagreement 'arguing'.  Now she had me stumped yet again.  I hadn't disagreed or argued.  As the night wore on, she eventually relaxed enough from my transgression to explain to me that she meant that she, "...doesn't like to be questioned about everything she does".

That got me thinking about an age old question of mine: 'What is the difference between men and women?'  Obvious you can't pidgin hole everyone, but I'm talking in generals here.  One thing I know for sure is women are not men.  

The men that I know question everyone, including ourselves.  We judge openly.  We praise and insult as warranted.  The women I know don't.  They may judge people who are not around, but rarely tell them what they came up with.  They are quick to change the subject from anything that people can't agree on.

If my observation is correct, this could finally explain the misery of why only 5.5% of patent holders are women.  The women I know aren't any less intelligent than men, and anyone can patent an idea.  Questioning is the first step in innovation.  Could it be just some social norm telling them not to criticize the way things are currently done?  Is it biology?  Am I way off base?

Please feel free to tell me I'm a jerk, and I've got it all wrong.  Just please be specific, because I'm ready for the criticism, and we'll never learn if we can't even ask the questions.

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