Meaningful Innovation. (Episode 99)

Meaningful Innovation. (Episode 99)

Interview with Rajan Maheshwari, Country Head – Norway, for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

Stop talking about “Purpose.” Start talking about “Meaningfulness.”

You can hardly attend a business conference without some speaker talking about the need for companies to have “a purpose.”

But purpose without meaningfulness is meaningless.

The key word is not purpose; it’s meaningfulness.

So focus on meaningfulness, not merely on purpose.

And if you find meaningfulness, you will find purpose.

For leaders, the key for motivated, dedicated, and creative employees is that there is Meaningful Contribution, ie, that people feel that what they do is part of something meaningful – because no matter how meaningful a project is, a person will still find it meaningless if they do not feel that they are contributing.

So here is an idea: Whenever a new project is started in an organisation the group should sit down early in the process, and have a “Moment of Meaningfulness” where everyone in the project is asked to reflect and discuss why the completion of this project is meaningful.

Let’s say the project is something seemingly average, like “installing a new IT system for a grocery store.” How is this meaningful? For example: because by lowering the cost for the grocery store and by making it more efficient the price of their products (the food) could be kept down so that families get more food for their money. Similarly, the new IT system can also help improve customers’ grocery experience.

Good quality food at lower costs and a better grocery experience for families is meaningful. That is why working on the implementation of a new IT system for a grocery store is meaningful.

To take a “Moment of Meaningfulness” before a new creative project is initiated is powerful, yet very few people in creative projects will stop and take the time to reflect on how what they are about to embark on is meaningful.

Imagine if they did.

Then more people would be more motivated. Then better creative projects would be initiated. Then – in essence – more meaningful things would get done.

So introduce Moments of Meaningfulness in every creative project that you initiate.


When writing this article, I paused before I put down the first word and reflected on why writing this text would be meaningful. My conclusion was that if more companies invested more time and effort into introducing “Moments of Meaningfulness” to get people to think about how their creative projects are meaningful, then the world would be a much better place.


This text was inspired by a discussion with Rajan Maheshwari, Country Head – Norway, for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). TCS has 20,000+ employees servicing customers in the Nordics and 650,000+ employees around the world. As a TATA company they are guided by the mission of all TATA companies to: “improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust .”

They are a company where meaningfulness is more present than in other companies. This focus on serving the community in which they serve is guiding the company towards meaningful Innovation. Rajan himself is a person who is very aligned with the ethos of the TATA company and he is passionate about helping his people work the meaningfulness in the work that they do.

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