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Idealism vs Realism

The Implications of Project Management In Entrepreneurship
February 13, 2018
the urge to be a Pakistani
The Urge To Be Pakistani
February 12, 2018

I am a tech entrepreneur and a manager by profession with academic degrees in computer sciences and management; limited theoretical knowledge about the social sciences especially politics made me indifferent about social imbalances until I started working voluntarily at a private health institution reputed for being non-political and nondiscriminatory in practice.

It was there that I witnessed suffering of a common man; he was fighting social and economic marginalization and seeking help as a destitute. Where were we going wrong? I wondered.

It was the polarization of ideologies that caused infinite damage to the masses, a majority of which does not find itself inclined to any particular school of thought in the absence of knowledge. He is concerned about getting free medical help for his child not about the ruling party being rightest.

Idealism and realism, the two philosophies that form fundamentals of political and social ideologies at large are parallel yet divergent.

Following ‘idealism’, as I understand it, is to definitely think big, follow unconventional ways and do that seems impossible yet is necessary.

However, life experiences and professional experience have substantiated the importance of IMPACT. An idea, plan or action without the desired impact has limited effectiveness. I see it as a ‘disaster’ that is wrapped in white sheets and highlighted. It is the impact that you have been able to make that creates a difference. Winston Churchill on different occasions has said “history will be kind to me for I intend to write it” and “history is written by the victors”. The correlation between the two cements my belief.

To have a considerable impact, the superior ideas of idealism need to be grounded in concepts of realism. The degree at which the two philosophical concepts meet varies as per situation to result in success (again a relative term). I have figured out a method of doing so that I follow in most circumstances.

Once there is clarity about the problem to be resolved, it is important the target audience be identified correctly. Efforts have no meaning if they are not directed towards the right segment.

The next is the most crucial and strategic step. Develop a mind map; it is not only essential to be sure about the connections, linkages and effects of nodes but also in pre-empting potential gaps. The proceeding steps would be based on deductions of this map.

The nodes would typically be defined around key stakeholders. These are individuals, groups or organizations that can be called to act. The process is to first locate the group or organization as the case maybe, identify focal persons so it becomes easier to develop a lasting and effective relation and then communicate to convince about the agenda and expectations.

To work effectively and make the process efficient, it is important that targets be set. I set unrealistic goals and portray them to be realistic for myself. It is good that either stakeholders are consulted before setting targets or agree to the same once shared. Otherwise, you are left with a de-motivated group of people who are just working

At completion of the first phase of development, a ‘litmus test’ should be conducted to evaluate the responsiveness and likely effectiveness of the project. A positive result is a go-ahead sign with no significant anticipated hurdle. In the other case, you know in time that you need to re-strategise!

The lead needs to accept responsibility, take a step back and identify where a gap exists. Develop a Plan B and subsequent actions (heads up: you may not have the same time duration to plan as you had at the initial phase).

About implementation and mixing of idealism and realism, my key is never replicate, innovate and think big!