The Future of Business is Romantic

Talk by Tim Leberecht, Author of “The Business Romantic”

Where’s the strangeness, the strangers, the magic? Are we at risk of managing the romance out of our lives?
200 years ago, the original romantic movement stood up against the enlightenment and reason by championing mystery and romance. We need a movement now against the quantification of everyone?

The average American has only one close friend – and the number is declining. It’s the crisis of friendship. There’s a difference between togetherness and intimacy. And we need more intimacy.
Radical transparency means that mystique and mystery become more important again. Surprises. Maybe virtual reality will be the romantic tools of the new era.
There’s a dark side to romance. But that’s the opposite of romance. The greater the labour of love, the more meaningful the experience. Make people wait. Frustrate them. And they will desire what you offer.

People will forget what you did and said – but not how you made them feel. We overestimate the tip of the iceberg – the hard facts – and underestimate the soft factors, like relationships and feelings.

If your employees are uninspired, then give them drama and mystery. Don’t just design for convenience, but also for friction. That makes them more beautiful – and meaningful.

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