By: JoDeen Urban, Editor In Chief, The Source
Divining, designing or redefining – much of what humans do in creative efforts and solving problems is built upon the lessons of prior endeavors by others. “Plus ça change plus c’est la meme chose”. The more things change the more they stay the same. While French critic, journalist and novelist Jean-Baptiste Karr may have been suggesting disillusionment that new dynamics do not actually create sustaining impacts when he said this, another interpretation of his bitter wit allows more hopeful elasticity; that within each changing step the human element remains constant.
“Plus ça change plus c’est la meme chose” – Jean Baptiste Karr (1808-1890)
The human element, our humanity, is constant and embraces many attributes: subjective/ objective, rational/ irrational, emotional/ logical, judgmental/ analytical, pessimistic/ hopeful, resilient, creative, compassionate…the list goes on. Within each is potential to cause change. Thus, our “elements” must remain within every equation in order to effect and perpetuate change. Sustainable progress does occur.
In our world of sourcing and sustainability, we are witnessing an array of unique approaches to change. A few examples: the movement to embed shared values within our contractual relationships and thereby redefine relationship management; a lexicon shift to drop the words “outsourcing, near-sourcing and on-shoring” completely in favor of the universal term “sourcing”; the expansive impacts of social, mobile and cloud technologies on supply chains; and the integration of more people into economies from “the bottom of the pyramid”. The latter especially is significant and builds upon multiple efforts including micro-lending and diversity-motivated CSR initiatives.
“Hope is the Waking Dream of Man” – Aristotle (384 BCE – 322 BCE)
Within this issue of The Source each of our contributors address unique approaches to sourcing, all of which represent the human element working at its best, all of which embody hope. It is said by historians when Aristotle was asked “What is Hope?” he answered: “Hope is the waking dream of man”. Not quite four centuries later, Pliny the Elder embellished this insight by adding: “Hope is the pillar that holds up the world. Hope is the waking dream of man.” A clear example of building upon the wisdom of others and a philosophic precursor to what we now recognize in Twitter as a modified tweet (MT). Plus ça change.
Editor In Chief
JoDeen is an independent management consultant working with established companies as well as start-ups on strategy, organizational capability and business model innovation.