What Do You Want?

Many years after IBM and only a couple of years after my encounter with Gary, I met William Miller, at the time manager of the Program on Innovation at Stanford Research Institute. William has since published several books on innovation and creativity; he now consults on global values-based innovation from his home in India.

As we drank coffee around a bistro table, William suggested that “What do you want?” really means, “What are you here to do?” and I quickly saw his point. Having spent my adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was treated, long ago, to the San Francisco Chronicle columns of Eric Hoffer, philosopher-cum-longshoreman, whose longest-lived aphorism is “You can never get enough of what you don’t ...

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