Leadbeater, a researcher at the London think tank, has prompted some of the world’s largest organizations to reorganize their strategies. Originally a financial journalist, Leadbeater took notice of the rise of “amateur innovation” and offered his theory of allowing consumers to be a voice of innovation rather than relying on big corporations to be the main voice of creativity.
He begins his casual talk with the invention of the mountain bike. Sourced in Northern California, the mountain bike was introduced, constructed, and sold by “pro-ams” – passionate amateurs who act like professionals – who sought a need for a certain type of product that had not been created. Here he stresses that contrary to popular belief, society does not need an organization to be organized. Individuals can achieve large and complex tasks like innovating new programs, tools, or products on their own. He urges his listeners to break the mold of the traditional corporate model – special ideas, special people, and special places used on passive consumers – and begin to work at their leisure, to invest their time, and to acquire skills in order to achieve their goals.
I believe Leadbeater will be a wonderful person to speak at Bucknell because of his appreciation of the power of individuals. At an elite school like Bucknell, young adults are consumed with making the most money at some consulting or accounting firm, and doing everything they possibly can to get on top. We need to break away from such a corporate – driven mentality and learn the importance of becoming leaders in innovation. As Millenials we have the technology to create what Leadbeater calls “a tremendous movement”, and it is up to us to use our resources to achieve success we thought could only be attained by big corporations.