Together we approach the end of 2012. Twelve Twelve Twelve had such a nice ring to it! Then December 14th broke our collective hearts as we watched the events in Newtown unfold, destroying lives and so much of the joy of the season.
Here we are on December 23rd, mourning still and picking up the pieces, at least here in America, where mass murder happened (again) in our back yards.
But no matter where we are, and what tragedies and disappointments befall, all can never be lost while we can still find the courage to act. In the face of disappointment and worse, we can still act, and, must act and invoke our best selves to make it, invoking Lennon and McCartney, better, better, better, better. We believe one reason our IX community continues to grow with such vibrancy is that the word innovation is a powerful magnet for the best selves in all of us. The promise of innovation, however you define it, is a more enlightened way forward, especially when we can activate it in the broader conversation and create new irrefutable value.
This year, I’m consumed with a particular conversation inspired by Whitney Johnson, and indeed betting on dreaming as a key to our way forward. We may have to be a little more open and childlike, a little less cynical, to really dream. But this time of year has a certain sweetness to it, and offers the time to pause, reflect, and yes, do some active dreaming. Borrowing from the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The Children’s Hour…
“Between the dark and the daylight,
When the light is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupation,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.”
Pause and join me for the webinar interview Innovation Excellence did recently with author Whitney Johnson, whose book, Dare, Dream, Do, is interrupting or better yet, disrupting our notion of the role of dreaming in innovation and in life, and in doing so, challenging us to rethink what dreams mean to us.
Whitney is a deliberate strategist and investor, a big picture thinker who defies easy description. It is no surprise to me that a community is building around her on the HBR blog, on twitter, and in her speeches and classes, as she calls us to deliberately dare to dream fully enough to invest in and reshape our worlds. According to Whitney “it’s our privilege to dream” but we have to first dare to step up and take that privilege. As the year ends, we invite all of you to step up and claim that privilege for yourselves. The world really needs you.
photo image: whitneyjohnson.com
Julie Anixter is Chief Innovation Officer at Maga Design and the executive editor and co-founder of Innovation Excellence. The co-author of three books, she’s working on a fourth on courage and innovation. She worked with Tom Peters for five years on bringing big ideas to big audiences. Now she works with the US Military, Healthcare, Manufacturing and other high test innovation cultures that make a difference.