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Ask The Experts: Are we too tired to innovate?

Often buried under constantly redefined ideologies and "helpful" products, the thought of a simple workflow, for many broadcast engineers, resembles something of a tragic comedy.

Move it to the cloud... wait, no, the cloud is toxic. Throw away those old tapes and make everything digital... until somebody pulls the plug. You're an engineer? Oh, that's great... so, tell me why my laptop's email won't refresh and the outdated operating system hates streaming. And, when you check out of solving your station's problems for five minutes, do us all a favor and become an IT professional while also brushing up on all new, flavor-of-the-month guidelines and standards that will cost our station money and cost you your sanity.

Anybody got a few extra hours they could spare? Maybe 20 of them?

I think we laugh sometimes just so we don't cry tired tears.

It's there where my concern lies these days as I've read column after blog after commentary that our industry seems to be at some sort of innovative standstill. My email inbox tells me daily that old products are being updated, that new versions of old programs are now available.

Sharper images are swell, Version 8.521523 has some sweet functionality. But, somewhere along the way, it seems "latest edition" has become the new "new."

My question, then, when keeping in mind the lengthy, daily time demands placed on engineers in today's working landscape*: Are schedules part of the problem here? Are we often too tired and too stressed these days to truly innovate, to create?

*A general Google search on "broadcast engineer jobs" directed me to a description that stated "Most broadcast technicians work a standard 40-hour schedule. Erm... ahahaha!

First, I pity the kids who read that and believe it to be true. Second, if you're done having a good laugh at the thought, I want to know. In the middle part of last decade, I worked as a radio station engineer for a few years as I learned my way through the station. I know the time and stress requirements that go along with it. I certainly know I wasn't in any mood or mindset to create much on most days, and I was in my mid 20s. 

What about you, Experts?