Yesterday, I had the privilege of being part of a discussion on the nature of change and our relationship to it.

One of the ideas that occurred to me as a result of the insights offered by people around the table is that while change is the only constant, we are challenged to deal with the often surprising products of change. (Credit derivatives change; the unexpected product is the financial crisis.) And with any change, some people are affected more than others. Those who are affected least are those who have the most resources, which make them the most resilient. Therefore, if we want to be a society that evolves in the direction of change mastery, which seems to be at the heart of innovation, it seems we have to first address issues of income disparity and strong social safety nets.

As has become clear during the financial crisis, corporate safety nets can be too encouraging to innovation — but in the larger world, social safety nets allow people to make investments in things like education and job training, preparing them to respond to change products in a creative way.

What do you think?

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