Healthy, wealthy and wise Featured

8:00pm EDT August 26, 2009

No less an innovator than Benjamin Franklin opined, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

This formula for health, wealth and wisdom was effective for the Founding Father who not only invented bifocals but also created the first American lending library, first fire company and American fire insurance company.

Humbly following Franklin’s lead, we invented our own formula, which we’re using to explain the relationship among three key components of this year’s Innovation in Business program: Healthy ideas + healthy people + healthy companies = healthy communities.

So what exactly does this mean?

“Healthy ideas” refer to innovation. Ask “what if” and approach the status quo with an open mind. There is no such thing as too many healthy ideas. They appear in numerous forms: new products or services, business models, employee management styles, and strategies for improving customer service or product reliability.

“Healthy people” means wellness. When you and your employees set aside time to maintain your health — getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising — both your body and mind will be sharp enough to make positive contributions.

“Healthy companies” are the engine that drives the economy. They create jobs, generate positive cash flow, and have an impact on employees, customers and vendors.

Mixed together, these ingredients combine to create “healthy communities,” where we live, work and play. These are communities that are vibrant, bustling and electric. Their economic engines are sound, and the ideas generated by the companies located within them impact people’s lives.

At Smart Business, we think this formula works. But if you’re still skeptical, put it to the test by joining us later this month at the 2009 Innovation in Business conference, sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Help us honor this year’s Visionaries and Rising Stars and engage in a spirited panel discussion with four regional experts on innovation.

You can find profiles of all 15 amazing organizations and the people who power them in this issue’s cover story package.

When you think about it, taking tips from the likes of Franklin makes a lot of sense. After all, he did invent the lightning rod. And before I forget, he was also instrumental in helping create a little thing we like to call the United States of America. So who am I to argue with Poor Richard himself?

Contact executive editor Dustin S. Klein at