Innovation challenges tradition, calling upon each of us to drop resistance and be open to alternative ways of doing things. It should come as no surprise, then, that innovation itself cannot be achieved without this very acceptance. I just finished speaking at the Sask INC Innovation forum, where I argued that a balance of masculine and feminine energy is crucial to innovation.
Innovation depends not only on having groundbreaking ideas, but on taking that creativity and turning it into a successful product. Consider Thomas Edison: he dreamed up the idea of the light bulb, then immediately went to work in his lab to take his dream from imagination to reality. That dream was feminine energy – an intuitive awareness that brought forward inspiration. He then acknowledged this spark of inspiration and took the initiative to act on it. This call to action is a masculine attribute – it knows how to get things done! A good flow of both energies was critical to one of the most important inventions of all time, and remains important in business, science, and politics.
For this reason I propose a new kind of science, Gender Physics, which would measure the energy balance between masculine and feminine attributes in a company, country or individual. I chose physics because of the principle that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but only modified; energy transformations within a system thus create an energy balance. Gender Physics wouldn’t just measure the number of men and women in an organization, as some women display a significant level of masculine energy and many men are open to the creativity and intuition of feminine energy. Rather, the idea is to pinpoint the degree to which the organization has “developed the opposite.” The energy balance in gender physics would have a lot in common with other sciences where equilibrium and flow are always an advantage. Energy hungers for balance the way water reaches its own level.
Unfortunately, one of the first findings of this new scientific discipline is that we have a long way to go: the political and business worlds are still very much dominated by masculine energy. Generations from now, those who come after us will look back on our civilization and be amazed at how out of balance we were despite the fact that the planet is almost perfectly 50/50 along gender lines. The next stage of evolution is to invite the feminine into our personal and professional lives to balance our predominantly masculine environments. How can we do this?
1. Balance the Genders in our Organizations. Men will generally (but not always) have more masculine energy, and women will have more feminine energy. So if we can achieve gender equity on our management and boards, we’ll go a long way toward a better energy balance. The most immediate impact of this shift will be a balance between those wishing to push the existing strategy forward (masculine energy) and those wishing to be receptive to new ideas (feminine energy).
2. Develop and Embrace our Opposite. We all have both energies in us, but we tend to get stuck in the energy of our gender and grow resistant to creatively accessing our opposite. If we embrace the other energy in ourselves we’ll be able to flow back and forth between the two – just like Edison! By using the most expedient energy based on the circumstances, we’ll achieve the best results. Who wouldn’t want balanced energy?