Innovators, Pushers, Authority, and Enforcement

It turns out that rules, laws, and standards are made up by other humans just like you and me.  What appears on the surface as fixed didn’t start that way.  These rules, laws, and standards come about from people pushing the boundaries of what is possible.  From this pushing and exploration come ideas and creations.  As these ideas/creations gain acceptance, rules and laws come about as a way to integrate them into society.  It happens in this way:

Innovators (also called Pioneers and Visionaries) are the people who are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in any given aspect of life and work.

Pushers are the people directly behind the innovators “cheering them on” or providing inspiration to break new ground.  They are ready to consume, digest, and integrate new insights or discoveries and are often innovators in their own right using this to propel their ideas further.  Pushers can come in the form of competitors, employees, or contemporaries.

Authority (or Experts) are the people who command the deepest awareness of a subject.  They can be the same as the Innovator but not always.  This role implies some interest in broadcasting knowledge to others.

Informal Enforcement is what happens when an Innovators ideas are widely adopted beyond the Pushers.  The idea/discovery is enforced through its use in the general population.

Formal Enforcement is the process whereby the new idea/discovery is strapped with laws, degrees, awards systems, or other structures built around it to provide safety and rules of interaction for others.


Innovators are explorers setting stakes for those coming behind them.  A big part of learning is absorbing what has already been uncovered by these people and which now lives in the world of Formal Enforcement.  At some point though you may find yourself peaking out of this safety and into the unknown.  In this case, if you want to create a new way of doing something then look for your community of Pushers and start to innovate.

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