'Innovation waves' carry Northwestern community to success
Northwestern University Vice President for Research Jay Walsh posted an encouraging article about catching the waves of change last week.
He focused on the classic surfer advice: "Catch the wave or be caught under it."
Walsh pointed out economist Joseph Schumpeter's description of the relationship between innovation and marketplace. "Creative destruction," as Schumpeter called it, brings waves of invention, investment and new technologies to the market. These business cycles, or waves, may last a few years or decades, but the operative part is "change." Rapid advances in technology are just one example of change.
"A decade ago, if you owned a computer it sat on your desk; today, a huge fraction of the world’s population carries one in a pocket," Walsh said.
Creative destruction, or change, can impel people to new heights in business or career prospects, or tear down careers and shake their comfort zones. There was a time when a person could select a career and stay employed for a lifetime. Today, that career may last a few years or decades, but it is unlikely to last until retirement.
As Walsh pointed out, lifelong learning is essential in business and in academia. Northwestern provides professional development opportunities for the staff and faculty keep them up to date with the latest innovations in their fields, ready to ride the waves of change to continuing success.
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