January 31, 2013 marks the 94th birthday of a major pioneer in American Baseball history.  Jackie Robinson is celebrated as the first black Major League Baseball player since the 1880's.  As we reflect on Jackie's major achievements that marked the end of national segregation in professional baseball, the evidence of this monumental historical change can be attributed to his determination to challenge the social status quo of his time.  Jackie's achievement is only possible with his relentless pursuit to achieve his personal goals coupled with his remarkable talents.

Gleaning principles from Jackie's success, one notable lesson can be ascertained.  Progression in all industry innovation must be spearheaded with strong convictions in fresh and avant-garde conceptions.  All solid and advancing ideas will be confronted with doubt and hesitancy.  In reality, the more advanced and enlightened the ideas, the more objections will be voiced.  However, the persevering and persistent outside of the box aspirant may launch world changing transitions and trends.

Creating "safe" environments in the workforce, school, and other social institutions that promote and cultivate innovation must be a deliberate act on key influential personnel.  Strategic plans to implement and sponsor internal "think tanks" and "task forces" are key approaches to create, maintain, and sustain momentum for innovation.

Jackie's contribution to America's history has produced invaluable effects for the nation.  May his legacy continue to encourage individuals and institutions alike to challenge existing circumstances, processes, and conditions with progression and positive growth in all sectors of life.
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Jenny Tsai

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