How many times have you heard or read that? In an idea-based industry, some on the business side exert this flat-footed bromide with unhelpful zeal, sure of the immutability of this truth.
And you know what? It is true, perhaps even immutably.
Yet ironically, while it may not be a plan, hope can certainly be a business asset. The promise of something better ahead fuels cosmetics, fashion, food, luxury and any number of other categories’ marketing. Whether conscious or not, we buy certain things to increase our sex appeal, to project a seemlier aesthetic, or even to demonstrate that we are part of a smarter set. Hope builds brands. We just inaugurated a President who made hope one of his fundamental platform promises. Love him, hate him, or plead disinterest all around; among everything else Obama’s election represents, his campaign proved once more that hope can be a genuine motivator to civic engagement. And thus a good asset for the business of government.
Of course, the challenge of building a business on hope lies in actually delivering results, whether you’re selling a wrinkle cream or a new direction for foreign policy. We will have to wait and see about that. And like every consumer of this type of message, we will be hoping for the best.