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Innovation and attendant change is difficult – for people are normally opposed to change. Many people are resistant to change in even silly things like the cup we use for our morning coffee ! In good or even in moderate times, leaders have a real tough time in promoting innovation and change.
Machiavelli has a great quote on the difficulty that leaders face in facilitating change :
“And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as the leader in the introduction of changes. For he who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new.” (Machiavelli, Niccolò.  1992. The Prince. )
However, the current global financial crisis will make change and innovation easier for leaders countries,companies and individuals.
Why ? Because as Plato said “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Sure, if there was a time that required change – it is this. Bill Gates seems to echo a similar view when he said that the pressures of the current crisis will mobilize the American innovative spirit and big things will happen.
Staying still is not really an option both for corporate leaders and entrepreneurs today.