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Saul Kaplan: Thankful Innovation Junkie

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

 

I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday. What’s not to love? Food, family, and football are three of my favorite things. The prodromal smells of homemade cooking pervade the house which means turkey and pecan pie are only days away. Smiling is easy this week while making sure everything is perfect for the welcome cacophony of our kids and grandkids returning home to our empty nest for a holiday visit. Thanksgiving spirit warms the soul.

The best part of Thanksgiving is taking time to reflect on the things we’re most thankful for. It’s a strange tumultuous time and yet it seems as if there is more to be thankful for than usual. Perhaps it’s during trying times, with so many people suffering around us, that we are grateful for things we otherwise would take for granted. I am thankful for many things and thought if I shared them openly perhaps others would share what they are thankful for too. Who knows, maybe the Thanksgiving spirit will catch on.

Here are eleven things I am particularly thankful for:

1) A wife who is my best friend and the love of my life. I met her 40 years ago on December 7th, a day that will live on in infamy! She is a saint for tolerating this innovation junkie.

2) Three great children who despite our parenting have made us proud by becoming incredible young adults. They learned their lessons in irreverence well and are all exceeding my one expectation, to be interesting. (I should say four great children, including our son-in-law who makes us a better family and fires well on the aforementioned irreverence and interest dimensions.)

3) Incredible twin granddaughters, now three years old, who light up everything and everyone around them and give me incredible hope for the future. Being a ‘Papa’ is the best.

4) The Business Innovation Factory (BIF) team who keeps me young and continues to stick by me while I keep reinventing myself. I learn by hanging around them every day and I intend to stick by them. Together we are catalyzing an inspiring movement to transform our important social systems. I can’t believe we just celebrated our tenth anniversary together.

5) A growing network of smart and passionate people that remind me every day that social isn’t something you bolt on to the way your life currently works but an entirely new way of living. Connections seem an impersonal way to describe it. More like friends and fellow innovation travelers.

6) Living in a time when so much innovation is possible. We are blessed with the tools to enable purposeful networks to work on the real social system challenges of education, health care, and government. Transformation seems within our reach.

7) The temperament to thrive on steep learning curves and the confidence to realize how much I have to learn. The goal is to get better faster.

8) The blessing of time to write and for a network of innovators who encourage me to write more.

9) Twitter, Facebook, Medium, Google, and Apple for enabling this free agent to punch above his fight weight. Self-organizing is no longer an oxymoron.

10) Being surrounded by people with an incredible sense of humor who make me laugh every day.

11) The opportunity to do what I love and to love what I do. Passion really is the secret sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?

Saul Kaplan is the Founder and Chief Catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF). Saul shares innovation musings on his blog at It’s Saul Connected and on Twitter at @skap5. Read more about Saul here

 

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