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December 2, 2004

Excerpts: 10 Lessons from History's Innovators - Part VIII

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 1:52 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Lesson #7 - CROSS-POLLINATION WORKS. Leo Baekeland borrowed from photographic chemistry to invent plastics. Raymond Smith borrowed from carnival techniques to make gambling a major American industry. Elisha Otis built his safety elevators using springs he had learned about making carriages. Wilbur Wright figured out how to turn an airplane by thinking about the way he turned a bicycle. Boundary transgressors are able to mobilize knowledge more flexibly and selectively. From the book THEY MADE AMERICA by Harold Evans, with Gail Buckland and David Lefer. (c) 2004 Little, Brown & Co.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.