Ode to the misfits!

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

—Steve Jobs, 1997

The above text comes from Apple's iconic Think Different ad that aired once in 1997. They are these nostalgic words that sparked a fire of innovation but 25 years later this fire has been completely extinguished. For where are the new cross-thinkers with their ideas and dreams? It was precisely the mavericks who came up with innovative solutions. Cross thinkers are the necessary non-conformist thinkers we need to nurture. Too often thrown in the trash because they do not know how to connect with others sufficiently. Sidelining them has created a chronic lack of ideas and vigor. Outsiders are the dreamers and have vision; without them, working toward real progress is impossible. The fear of failure holds organizations hostage and leads to normalized cowardice, causing the remaining conformists to resort to safe make-believe solutions.

Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve a problem with the thinking that created it. By this he meant that we must adopt an inquisitive and curious attitude. Learning to trust our own observations and daring to conduct practical experiments so that new discoveries are possible. It is always dreams and ideas that strengthen our imagination. But how do you strengthen this? It always starts with experimentation, tinkering and tinkering through which new insights emerge. A creative department without dreams and practical experiments will never become a true idea factory. Remember that it is precisely the mavericks who dare to move a stone that changes the course of a river, they make the real difference. Therefore, this ode to all cross-thinkers.

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Ruud Olijve

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