Self-esteem: the motor of innovation

So innovation is a social thing. And for now, it doesn’t really matter if we’re talking about innovativeness in a company, a consumer or another context. The same rules apply to all of these.

Self-esteem has long been considered as the inner evaluation of the individual self. A few years ago however, I read an article by Marc Leary in which he introduced the concept of the sociometer. This sociometer explains self-esteem as being the internal gauge that constantly monitors our level of social acceptance.

Imagine, when we were still hunting for food, how crucial such a mechanism must have been in order for an individual to stay alive. The sociometer is the glue that keeps everyone in check with the other members of the tribe. Every time our behavior would set us apart from the group, our sociometer would ring the alarm. Now, how we would react to this alarm, this social pain, largely varies from personality to personality.

It’s this diversity in personalities that allows a social mechanism to innovate. But it’s the sociometer that is at the heart of this mechanism, it’s the motor, residing in each individual, that holds the social mechanism together.

Ok if you’re with me till now, it makes it easier for me to explain the next part: the cogs of this mechanism. Which personalities are needed in order to innovate. What is their function within the social mechanism. How can we identify them.


One Response to Self-esteem: the motor of innovation

  1. […] As I was researching this article, I found a couple of great blog entries that discuss Sociometer Theory: first, Gustavo Mesch is a professor of sociology at the University of Haifa, and he writes a blog article on his recent paper on social networking and its relationship with Sociometer Theory. Second, talks about the link between self-esteem and innovation. […]

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