Innovation's Organizing Principles


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Introduction -- Leverage for learning innovation's methods ...

Themes that span and connect expert resources about innovation signal that it's feasible to establish innovation's "organizing principles."

That's significant because organizing principles have been described as the basis for converting any skilled craft into a methodology or discipline, as occurred in the past with the field of engineering, the physician's differential diagnosis, and more.

For innovation and its methods, organizing principles would allow for the potential value of learning leverage by way of an "innovation learning system," similar to the existing system for teaching the methods of science/research, beginning within K-12 grades:


This site provides support for this proposition, or hypothesis, that establishing a set of organizing principles for innovation is feasible and that an associated innovation learning system would be valuable as a high-leverage resource for learning about innovation and its methods. Support begins just below with an overview of feasibility and value:

Feasibility --

To demonstrate feasibility, a prototype of innovation's organizing principles is presented and elaborated just after this Introduction. The prototype is based on themes from expert resources regarding innovation's essential purpose and forces:

By speaking to innovation's essential purpose and forces, the prototype principles aim to capture what is constant, or unifying, across innovation's unusually varied expression and also explanatory.

For the purpose of catalyzing the change of more yield from the same resources (e.g., yield in terms of "profit, planet, and/or people"):

  • Innovation's change catalyst is compelling new "value," beginning with the value of compelling purpose to innovation practitioners.
  • Innovation's catalyst is forcefully positive
  • Innovation's essential creative structure is hypotheses
  • Innovation's hypotheses amplify a force of integration

Value --

Feasibility of organizing principles leads directly to an account of the hypothesized value that is made possible by way of organizing principles: an innovation learning system.

The proposed value of such a system -- a high-leverage resource for learning about innovation and its methods -- is based on connecting existing knowledge about innovation with separate knowledge about teaching and learning, psychology, and more. For example:

First, for any subject, organizing principles are associated with "converting a skilled craft into a discipline or methodology" by making it broadly teachable, and broadly accessible, as occurred in the past with, for example, the physician's differential diagnosis, the field of engineering, and the methodology of science/research.[2] Organizing principles are fundamental to the prospect of this conversion for innovation.

Second, for innovation, the prototype principles highlight potential for beginning instruction early (e.g., no later than middle school), akin to beginning early for methods of science, and also highlight built-in learning leverage points. For example:

Third, a framework of principles provides a "modular interface," including shared language, in support of both: grounding and connection of learning across time and place; and innovation's collaborative and cross-functional nature.

Fundamentally, the opportunity is to leverage the expert resources that imply innovation's organizing principles:

For students, the learning on the surface features a methodology's essential purpose and forces vis-a-vis the nature of the 21st century societal need that the methods serve. It's a type of literacy pertinent to all and a methodology pertinent to the vast majority of workforce roles. Beneath the surface, the learning involves actively exploring one's way toward personally compelling ways to make a difference in that larger world.

For society, the possibility is for the result of a more purpose-driven workforce, with deeper roots of innovation understanding and related knowledge and skills. This seems fundamental to a workforce that can meet the 21st century's large and urgent need for innovation's effects.

“Class of 2017, you are graduating into a world that needs purpose. It’s up to you to create it.”

-- Mark Zuckerberg, at Harvard University




This site ...

This site's support for the hypothesis that establishing a set of organizing principles for innovation is feasible and would be valuable consists of an Elaborated Overview below, plus attention to Details and Sources and separate pages of this web site.

Elaborated Overview --
Just below, the balance of this page features an overview of:

Detail & Sources --
Via the site's main menu and/or the links just below, separate pages provide detail associated with sources for the same three topics.

Additionally, a Bibliography provides quick reference to the range of sources.



Part One -- Feasibility of Innovation's Organizing Principles

Feasibility is illustrated by an approximation of organizing principles, based on connecting themes from expert resources regarding innovation's essential purpose and forces.

The prototype set of principles follows from the launching point, just below, of considering those themes in relation to the purpose and forces of science and invention.

Launching Point --

Although innovation's direct purpose, or function, is distinct from the respective purposes of science and invention, all three methodologies share the essential creative structure of hypotheses:

Each methodology's direct purpose determines the fundamental nature of its hypotheses and additional fundamental distinctions. [4]

These distinctions are summarized in the table just below and then elaborated beneath the table as core content for the prototype set of "innovation's organizing principles":


  Innovation Science Invention
Direct Function/
Advance total value produced from same resources. For associated societal benefits of: advancing standard of living, sustainability of finite natural resources, &/or quality of living. Advance knowledge/
Advance technical capability
Medium of Expression "Value" in form of Offerings Argument Technical Function, Demonstration
of Change
Commercial & Social Production Systems Disciplinary fields of knowledge Disciplinary/technical fields of knowledge, including "appropriate technology"
Nature of Hypotheses "What could be as new value to customers"
"How the new value could become an offering accessible to customers and catalyst of change."
"What is" "What could be technically"
Knowledge Pertinent to Hypotheses Integrates knowledge from core strands, such as:
(i) industry/operations
(ii) customer
(iii) human, social & technological dynamics.

Can feature "ordinary" knowledge.

Can incorporate knowledge resource of advances in Science and/or Invention.

Primarily disciplinary

Primarily disciplinary/technical
Agents of Change Widely varying (possessors of pertinent knowledge, purpose & skills) Typically masters of a field of knowledge Typically masters of a technical field
Gatekeepers of Change Customers Experts in Field Varies
Gatekeeper Criteria Value is Forcefully Positive Argument is Valid & Reliable Demonstration is Reliable




Prototype: Innovation's Organizing Principles

The summary of the prototype set of innovation's organizing principles is repeated just below, followed by elaboration of each principle:

For the purpose of catalyzing the change of more value, or yield, from the same resources (e.g., yield in terms of "profit, planet, and/or people"):


Summary --

Again, a summary of the prototype set of innovation's organizing principles:

For the purpose of catalyzing the change of more yield from the same resources (e.g., yield in terms of "profit, planet, and/or people"):

  • Principle #1 -- Innovation's change lever is new "value," beginning with the value to practitioners of compelling purpose.
  • Principle #2 -- Innovation's catalyst is forcefully positive
  • Principle #3 -- Innovation's essential creative structure is hypotheses
  • Principle #4 -- Innovation's hypotheses amplify a force of integration



Part Two -- Value of Learning Leverage

"The curriculum of a subject should be determined by the most fundamental understanding of the underlying principles that give structure to the subject."[32]

-- Jerome Bruner, The Process of Education


The feasibility of principles, as demonstrated by the prototype discussed just above, matters because of the hypothesized value that high-quality principles could provide.

This value fits into a "what could be" innovation hypothesis, where:

The new offering of a public good of "innovation's organizing principles":

  • provides for the value of broad access to high-leverage learning about innovation, which by nature features support for the "forcefully positive" value of personal sense of direction, or purpose

  • where students are the direct value recipients, or main customers

  • and where student response to the offering would be primary in determining the extent of societal change catalyzed:

    • extent of a shift toward more flourishing students and more flourishing future lives ("people")

    • extent of a shift toward a workforce that is more purpose driven and more innovation capable (contributing to innovation's three mutually-supportive societal ends: "profit," "planet" & "people").

This hypothesis of "what could be" as new value to students is elaborated and associated with sources at this site's separate page for Learning Leverage, expanding upon the introduction at the top of this page.

The Learning Leverage page also speaks to sample "how it could become" hypotheses, in brief, at the end of the detailed treatment of the "what could be as new value" hypothesis. "How" hypotheses begin with development of valid and articulate organizing principles.

Overall, the combination of this site's "what could be" and "how" hypotheses can be viewed in terms of the force of "value" within the triangle below, representing innovation's path to societal-level change. The primary segment of customers (students in this case) represent the ultimate gatekeepers of change, based on their response to an active offering of learning about innovation [32.5]:



Part Three -- Sample Learning Applications

"No amount of doubling down on math and science courses is going to produce the innovators we need in the 21st century ... The key is engagement." [35]

Richard K. Miller
President, Olin College of Engineering


Each of several learning application sketches is to demonstrate how organizing principles can support innovation instruction, including the principles' overall provision for an innovation learning system, whereby learning experiences across time and place are grounded and connected by the principles.

Within such a system, the applications are intended to help harness the three mutually-reinforcing learning leverage points that are made visible by the prototype principles (intelligibility, engagement, embedded personalized guidance).

Described in brief just below, each application sketch is elaborated at this site's separate Learning Applications page.

For Youth --
The first 2-3 applications sketched are envisioned as fitting together for K-12 learners (e.g., beginning by middle school years), with the idea that high digital support facilitates productive hands-on engagement and supports teachers in establishing roots of an innovation learning system at this schooling level:

For Social Innovation within Higher Education --
Separate sketches feature social innovation and the higher education level:




In sum -- "It is not exhortation they need but instruction ... " [38]

As the 21st century calls for converting innovation's methods from a skilled craft practiced by a sliver of society to a methodology practiced broadly, capably, and collaboratively, the time seems fully ripe for exploring the hypothesis:

This site's overall hypothesis is that there is opportunity for society to leverage the expert resources that imply these principles toward a framework for systemic learning and practice that can in turn leverage individual strengths and motivation -- toward win-win gain:

It's a "what could be" innovation hypothesis, for the win-win yield that features more flourishing human beings and the leveraging of individual strengths and purpose toward more societal flourishing -- indeed toward "creating a sustainable world." [40]
A "minimum viable" version of the searchable online gallery application described above is presented at a separate url:

This minimum version is based on the prototype principles, reflecting the idea that the more expeditious route to high-quality principles may involve experimenting with prototype applications of the prototype principles, with concrete experiments prompting critique.

Also, look for a possible blog at that same site.

In the meantime, I welcome feedback on all aspects of this site.

With appreciation,
Karen Gates
Ann Arbor, Michigan



[1] See this web site's Learning Leverage page, under "The Special Value of Purpose."

[2] Peter F. Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society, (Harper Press, 1993), p 46. Drucker held that this conversion is made possible for any skilled craft by way of explicating "organizing principles" and thereby making a practice broadly teachable. Drucker cited the prior examples of engineering and the physician's differential diagnosis.

[3] Peter F. Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, (HarperBusiness, 1985), p 27

[3-2] Jerome S. Bruner, The Process of Education, (Harvard University Press, 1960), p 7

[3-4] I borrowed the term "modular interface" from Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn, & Curtis W. Johnson, Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, (McGraw-Hill: New York, 2011). On page 32, Christensen, et. al., describe Dell computers "under the lid" as a collection of separately manufactured parts that are configurable to each customer's specifications based on a modular interface among the parts. At this web site, the suggestion is that If innovation learners and teachers are viewed as "parts" that come together within and across venues of learning and practice, shared reference to the methodology's fundamentals can provide the modular interface that connects participants within otherwise varying venues.

[3-6] Jerome S. Bruner, Actual Minds, Possible Worlds, (Harvard University Press, 1986), p 13. Bruner differentiates between "paradigmatic imagination" -- "the ability to see possible formal connections (of existing knowledge) before one is able to prove them in any way" -- and "narrative imagination" (e.g., gripping drama). Although "paradigmatic" implies hypotheses of science, with respect to an existing formal system of reality, the new connections of existing knowledge fits also with descriptions of innovation's ideas for new opportunities.

[4] This overall premise and the summary of distinctions stems from a combination of many sources. For example:

[5] For example:

Peter F. Drucker, in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, (HarperBusiness, 1985), p 138: "(W)hen all is said and done, innovation become hard, focused, purposeful work making very great demands on diligence, on persistence, and on commitment. If these are lacking, no amount of talent, ingenuity, or knowledge will avail. ... Successful innovators look at opportunities over a wide range. But then they ask, "Which of these opportunities fits me, fits this company, puts to work what we (or I) are good at and have shown capacity for in performance? ... Innovators must be temperamentally attuned to the innovative opportunity. It must be important to them and make sense to them. Otherwise they will not be wiling to put in the persistent, hard, frustrating work that successful innovation always requires."

John W. Gardner, in Self-Renewal, the Individual and the Innovative Society, (W.W. Norton & Company: New York, 1963), p 37, in chapter entitled "Innovation": "(Creative individuals) reserve their independence for what really concerns them -- the area in which their creative activities occur."

Similarly, creativity researchers have deemed intrinsic motivation as fundamental to creative work. See for example: Teresa M. Amabile, Creativity in context, (Westview Press: Boulder, CO, 1996).

This is borne out by accounts of innovation practitioners in compilations such as:

[6] Wendy Kopp, One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph Of Teach For America And What I Learned Along The Way, (Public Affairs: New York, 2001), p 6

[7] In one dense set of examples, the stories of twenty-five modern "world changers" feature a pattern of lead venturers catalyzing human energy and effectiveness within their organizations by way of: (i) attracting shared conviction in a picture of possibility; (ii) calling for ongoing shared engagement in realizing the vision. See John A. Byrne, World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It, (Portfolio/Penguin, 2011)

[8] Time Magazine, January 2011, “2010 Person of the Year”

[9] I first heard innovation depicted as "change by way of value" by Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University, in 2012 when he spoke as a guest at an Ashoka Changemaker Campus "Exchange," convened that year at ASU.

[9-5] Robert E. Quinn, Change the World: How Ordinary People Can Accomplish Extraordinary Results, (Jossey Bass: San Francisco, 2000. Quinn describes the combination of being "inner-driven and other-focused" as the "fundamental state of leadership."

Also, related to the notion of other-focused, the fit of "empathy" within innovation's practice is highlighted by leading voices such as: IDEO (design firm) and Stanford leaders with respect to the model of Design Thinking and the organization of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public.

[9-8] Drucker, 1985, p 27

[10] See the entire first section of this site's Principles - Sources page. Plus: From Peter F. Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, (HarperBusiness, 1985), p27:

"(Jean Baptiste) Say was primarily concerned with the economic sphere. But his definition only calls for the resources to be 'economic.' The purpose to which these resoures are dedicated need not be what is traditionally thought of as economic. Education is not normally considered 'economic' ... but the resources of education are, of course, economic. They are in fact identical with those used for the most unambiguously economic purpose such as making soap for sale. Indeed, the resources for all social activities of human beings are the same and are 'economic' resources. ... (Entrepreneurship) pertains to all activities of human beings other than those one might term “existential” rather than 'social.'"

[10-1] See immediately preceding footnote.

[10-2] Jeffrey D. Sachs, Building the New American Economy - Smart, Fair, & Sustainable, (Columbia University Press; New York, 2017). Sachs associates "sustainable development" overall with economic policy that focuses simultaneously on the issues of: promoting economic growth, promoting social fairness, and promoting environmental sustainability. p 7

[10-3] Andrew J. Hoffman, Finding Purpose, Environmental Stewardship as a Personal Calling, (Greenleaf Publishing Ltd: U.K, 2016).
Hoffman refers to "creating a sustainable world," which in effect combines the three societal P's. In asociation with these interrelated ends, Hoffman argues that the foundational means will require "a deep shift in our values that is on par with the Reformation, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, or the Digital Revolution." (p 71)

[10-4] Drucker, 1985, p 252

[10-5] Drucker, Managing in the Next Society, (St. Martin’s Press: New York, 2002), p 95

[10-6] Jean Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy, (1821), Book I, Chapter I

[11] For example, from Hoffman, 2016:

"The market is the most powerful institution on the planet, and business the most powerful entity within it." (p 41)

"If business does not lead the way toward solutions for an enironmentally sustainable, carbon-neutral world, there will be no solutions." (p 42)

"It does not require a 'green' mindset to see the opportunities. It requires a 'business' mindset." (p 47)

"The next iteration of sustainable business practices, moving from enterprise integration to market transformation, will establish new norms of social and environmental behavior on a global level, translate those norms to the national and local levels, and develop solutions that are systemic in nature, rather than collections of siloed approaches." (p 42)

See also video presentation at: Andrew Hoffman, Holcim (U.S.) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan, presentation: "Finding Purpose: Environmental Stewardship as a Personal Calling," Dec. 6, 2016. Positive Links Speaker Series, Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, video:

[11-1] The interrelatedness is not new. It is a level of attention that is new. As but one example of the type of new attention that has grown in visibility:

Within a 2007 panel discussion held at the University of Michigan, entitled, "Is Consumerism Sustainable?" the panelists concurred that "innovation" is the answer to sustainable development … "either gradually or by crisis." It is up to innovation to advance yield on natural resources to at least maintain the standard of living among developed populations while also improving the standard of living among developing populations. University of Michigan Erb Institute video archives, "Is Consumerism Sustainable?" (2007)

Jeffrey Sachs has added that innovation will not be enough; political change is required too.

[12] Knowledge about "value," on a fundamental level, seems surprisingly limited within the work of innovation's thought and action leaders. One seemingly pertinent resource is knowledge from the new field of positive psychology. For example, Martin Seligman refers to his theory of "well-being" as one representing five categories associated with "uncoerced choice" -- of value for the sake of their direct value alone: positive emotions, engagement (of personal strengths), positive relations, meaning, and accomplishment. See Martin E. P. Seligman, Flourish, A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, (Free Press, Simon & Schuster: New York, 2011)
Seligman refers to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theory of "flow" with regard to the well-being element of engagement. See Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow : the psychology of optimal experience, (Harper Perennial: New York, 1991)

[13] See references at footnote 5 above.

[13-1] Paul J. Zak, from "The Drucker Exchange" blog, April 4, 2013,

[14] Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millenium, (HarperCollins: New York, 1993), p 62

[15] Martin E. P. Seligman, Flourish, A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, (Free Press, Simon & Schuster: New York, 2011)

[16] Peter F. Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, (HarperBusiness, 1985), p27

[16-5] Soren Kaplan, "How One Insurance Firm Learned to Create an Innovation Culture," Harvard Business Review (, August 15, 2017

[17] Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York, 2011), p 100

[18] jThese ideas draw in part from Stephen Goldsmith, The Power of Social Innovation, (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2010). See this site's description of a "Social Differential."

[19] Jerome S. Bruner, Actual Minds, Possible Worlds, (Harvard University Press, 1986), p 13

[19-5] Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, (New York Riverhead Books, 2010), p 35

[20] "Evaluative-generative" comes from Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds, Learning to Be Creative (Capstone Publishing: UK, 2011). Robinson described "medium of expression" as the mechanism for generativity.

[20-5] For a particularly comprehensive example, which builds on decades of collective scholarly work, see: Robert J. Sternberg, Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 2003). In this model, the intellectual element of creativity is described as calling for analytical, creative, and practical thinking skills. For a range of sources, see this web site's Principles - Sources page (especially the section on Creativity).

[21] For example, see:

Jerome S. Bruner, On Knowing, Essays for the Left Hand, (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1962), p 20: "To create consists precisely in not making useless combinations and in making those which are useful and which are only a small minority. Invention is discernment, choice."

William Damon, "The Education of Steve Jobs," Stanford University, Hoover Institution, Defining Ideas, 9-16-2011: "But any idiot can take risks. ...The essential question is not whether people can take risks but rather how certain people are able to discern when a particular risk is worth taking. In fact—and this is rarely appreciated by those in the media who observe successful entrepreneurship from the outside—well-prepared entrepreneurs generally do not experience their investments in innovation to be much of a risk. The key is their preparation, not their desire to gamble."

[21-2] For example, see:

Steve Blank, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Successful Strategies for Products that Win, (Lulu Enterprises, Inc. 2003)

[21.5] Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, Business Model Generation, (Self-published, 2009), p 1

[22] Frank H. T. Rhodes, "Sustainability: the Ultimate Liberal Art," The Chronicle Review, Volume 53, Issue 9, p B24

[22-5] Peter Thiel described the pertinence of "secrets" in: Peter A. Thiel, Zero to One (Crown Publishing Group: New York, 2014).

[23] Edmund Phelps, Mass Flourishing (Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ, 2013)

[23-1] John W. Gardner, Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society, (Norton, New York, 1963), p 33

[23-2] Johnson, p 33

[23.3] Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity - Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, HarperCollins: New York, 1996), p 10

[24] Bruner , 1986, p 52

[25] Although this cognitive processing element draws upon a particularly dense set of sources, certain articulations summarized chunks of sources. For the way s of thinking and knowing -- "analytical, creative, and practical" -- the articulation draws in particular from Rober J. Sternberg's "WICS" model (Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized).

For the set of thematic descriptors of internal and external conditions (openness, flexible, and complexity) the terms were repeated across many sources, including over time. For examples of overall sources, see this web site's Principles - Sources page (especially the section on Creativity) and the Expanded Description of the prototype organizing principles.

[26] Jerome S. Bruner, On Knowing, Essays for the Left Hand, (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1962), p 20

[27] "Collectives of purpose" describes the fundamental type of collaborative team in: Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, A New Culture of Learning, Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change, (Create Space: Lexington, KY, 2011)

[28]] "The Entrepreneur of the Decade," Inc. Magazine, April 1, 1989
Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (Simon & Schuster: New York, 2011), p 362

[28.5] The "t-shaped" concept refers generally to individuals each having in-depth knowledge and skills related to one area plus wide-ranging complementary knowledge and skills. Tom Kelley of IDEO Design was an early proponent. IDEO attributes the term and concept to McKinsey & Company. For perspective, see:

[29] John W. Gardner, On Leadership, (The Free Press: New York, NY, 1990), p 165

[29.5] Clayton M. Christensen and Henry J. Eyring, The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out, (Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, 2011), p 343, pp 368-369

[30] Wendy Kopp, A Chance to Make History, What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All, (New York: Public Affairs, 2011)

[31] Tom Kelley, The Ten Faces of Innovation, (Currency Doubleday: New York, 2005)

[32] Jerome S. Bruner, The Process of Education, (Harvard University Press, 1960), p 7

[32.5] Note two important aspects of the offering that make its "how it could become" challenging and complicated, in line with the two elements of the principles' "social differential":

First, students are not the purchasing/deciding customers of this instructional offering. Within the education "industry," there can be a network of customers to influence with forcefully positive value if the student customers are to experience the offering's value. See Principle #2 regarding offerings that have more than one customer segment.

Second, as with most instructional offerings, this one calls not only for the response of adoption, but also for the response of learning, among both teachers and students. It may also call for behavioral change.

[33] Daniel T. Willingham, Why Don't Students Like School? (Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, 2009), p 10

[34] See discussion and sources at this site's Learning Leverage page.

[35] T-Summit 2016, Video: National Town Hall,

[36]  See James J. Duderstadt, Glenn F. Knoll, George S. Springer, Principles of Engineering (John Wiley & Sons: New York, Toronto,1982)

For discussion of Khan's philosophy about learning, see Salman Khan, The One World Schoolhouse, (Twelve, Hachette Book Group: New York, 2012)

[37] The expression and concept of "integrating and applying knowledge" (as opposed to the university's traditional focus on generating knowledge, with attendant reward systems) comes from Clayton M. Christensen and Henry J. Eyring, The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out, (Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, 2011). 

[38] John W. Gardner,Self-renewal; the individual and the innovative society (Harper & Rowe, New York, 1963), p 12.
This quote in its original context referred to the necessary role of individuals within societal renewal: “(W)e must help the individual to re-establish a meaningful relationship with a larger context of purpose. … (O)ne of the reasons young people do not commit themselves to the larger social enterprise is that they are genuinely baffled as to the nature of that enterprise. … They do not see where they fit in. If they are to commit themselves to the best in their own society, it is not exhortation they need but instruction. … We must also help the individual to discover how such commitments may be made without surrendering individuality."

In 2017, there may be formidable strengths associated with the broad appeal of innovation among young people and the appeal of social innovation in particular -- strengths that can be built upon toward "deeply embedded capability." Further, value for "leverage" in and of itself may be of the type of "middle-level" value that Gardner associated with near universal resonance.

Gardner's idea from 1963 was reinforced in 2008 by editors Anne Craft, Howard Gardner, and Guy Claxton throughout Creativity, Wisdom, and Trusteeship: Exploring the Role of Education, (Corwin Press: Thousand Oaks, CA, 2008). For example:

[39] Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad, Competing for the Future, (Harvard Business School Press, 1997), p vii

[40] Hoffman, 2016