On Fridays at 3 o'clock, we hold a study group for half an hour. I try to keep my mouth shut as much as possible, but today I was forever making speeches. The young gift-makers discussed market-driven to create something that everyone wants to improve our products before I joined a little later. When I heard that, I said, "No, no, no, we don't make projects or products like that", and I talked endless (^^;).
We talked about how we should make a product or a project as a gift with a meaning we believe in, which senior staff have heard before. For example, promoting Earth Day activities such as "turning off the lights for an hour" has little or no meaning or adverse effects. Instead, we could teach climate change individually to farmers who are likely to be affected by climate change or introduce biogas, which few people in the world understand. It's hard to get crowdfunding and donations because many people have never heard of it. But, but, but, messing with something that is wrong but has a significant market is the same as giving a gift of something we don't believe in. We can't have a cheap brainstorming session, put together a bunch of cheesy ideas and then try to market them before finding any meaning from ourselves. The only way is to find out what is sustainable, packaged in a way that people will love, and then send something we believe in. That's why we call our company as a Think-Do-Be tank, not a Do-Do-Do tank or a Think-Think-Think tank.
The following book, which I have mentioned several times on my blog, is about the importance of creating a business from your own subjective beliefs. Right at the beginning of the book, he describes the people who create such businesses as gift makers. It's from this book that we at su-re.co refer to the people who work for us as gift makers. Here's a bit more about it.
Solving problems requires an aseptic, impersonal attitude - a simple mind free from judgement, preconceptions and personal values. When we solve other people's problems, it is rational. But in order to create meaning, much more is needed. It requires us to start from our own meaning, from what we believe in, from our vision of the world. It's like a gift.
One never falls in love with a gift that one has only asked for. The gift has to be something that you yourself are searching for meaning in. If you don't love it, she won't love it.
Isn't it easier to create value for your business if it is meaningful to the recipient and to the person who created it? In my mind's eye, I saw all the projects I did over the last few years and all the entrepreneurs and managers I met who were driven by meaning. Entrepreneurs and managers who have generated much more business value than others who start from business value itself. They are makers of precious gifts.