Is English the Language of Innovation?
Mark Zuckerberg wowed his Chinese and Internet audiences when he addressed a group of students in Mandarin. That’s cool. It’s always great to see Americans who can speak more than one language.
In a recent article for the Harvard Business Review, Bill Fisher writes about “Why English, Not Mandarin, Is the Language of Innovation.”
Fisher outlines several reasons why English is widely accepted in business:
- English is the language of the Internet
- English is the international language of business
- English is the basis for popular computer languages
In San Antonio, Spanish is spoken proudly. However, even in San Antonio, it is true that most business is conducted in English even though much of the population is bilingual.
Because of the widespread use of English language in business, it could be said that English is the language of innovation.
However, there’s nothing inherently innovative about English. Nevertheless, because innovation is a practice done by people, English can be the common platform for collaboration, and yes, innovation.
If we investigate beyond the words themselves to the concepts lying beneath, we discover a much more basic, even more universal language–change.
Innovation begins with change. Innovators watch for signs of change so that they can take advantage of the opportunities that change always brings.
People can identify change in any language. That’s the true language of innovation!