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Here’s how great things get done


I've been reading a lot lately about the Higgs boson, the so-called "God particle" that might be responsible for nothing less than the creation of the universe itself.

I've been doing all that reading in the hopes that someone might be able to explain, in plain English, what all the hype is about.

So far, no luck. When it comes to physics, I'm an idiot.

Here's what I do understand. In their 50-year search for the Higgs boson, physicists changed the world in a couple of other, unexpected ways. Check out this excerpt from a Q&A article by the Associated Press's Frank Jordans. Verbatim:

Were there any practical results from the search?

Not directly. But the massive scientific effort that led up to the discovery has paid off in other ways, one of which was the creation of the World Wide Web. (European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN) scientists developed it to make it easier to exchange information among each other. The vast computing power needed to crunch all of the data produced by the atom smasher has also boosted the development of distributed — or cloud — computing, which is now making its way into mainstream services. Advances in solar energy capture, medical imaging and proton therapy — used in the fight against cancer — have also resulted from the work of particle physicists at CERN and elsewhere.

So, while searching for the particle that created the universe, scientists helped create the Internet, usher in the age of cloud computing, and advance cancer research.

I'd call that some pretty productive innovation.

Here's the point: When you embrace innovation, you innovate all the time. When you set your sights on the creation of the universe, the stuff you produce along the way is likely to be pretty groundbreaking.

Settle down, now -- our goals don't have to be that high. Working stiffs like you and I don't have to worry about the origins of life.

It's enough to find new ways to serve our clients, engage our employees, go cutting-edge with technology, become future-ready. If we dedicate ourselves to solving these types of problems, we'll end up solving others without really trying. Such is the life of an innovator. Embrace change, and you'll find yourself doing great things all the time. It'll become a way of life.

In an era when change is the only constant, what's more important than that?


Bill Sheridan