Perhaps it’s time for me to finally come out of the closet. I’ll confess up front: I am an idealist. Yes, I know, in this day and age and in this particular country, you are expected to keep both feet firmly planted on the ground and be practical and level-headed. Idealism has gone slightly of out style.
But I can become excited, inspired and enthusiastic by things that – how can I put this delicately? – carry the promise of a slightly better world. Such improvements do not need to imitate the large vistas of Martin Luther King or other visionary trailblazers. Rather, I look for that which is small and within reach in the world around me.
It’s a thrill to get the participants of a think tank to really listen to each other, reflect on themselves or think ‘out of the box’ or when they really work together (either physically or through a video conference). Because experience shows that this can help people, departments, business units and small and large companies to go to the next level. It may, in fact, be a contribution towards the development of products and services that make the world a better place because it dovetails with the needs of customers and consumers, helps solve difficult problems or makes these products and services nicer, more environmentally friendly or cheaper. It may, at least, contribute to this.
In fact, it is this idealism that still inspires me to fine-tune my approach even after thirty years of experience. Through Meaningful Innovation, for example. I continue to hone my skills. I do so out of idealism and because it is meaningful and gives me a sense of purpose.