Questioning the meaning of words

When most of us think about philosophy, we (in the West) think of great names – Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche… Their thinking is extremely rich but appears far-fetched to those involved in day-to-day action. This reputation casts a shadow on what philosophy really is about: asking ourselves the questions that will help us better decide and act in the most appropriate way.

Any human or organisational issue (development, management, reorganisation…) can be described in different ways, depending on its underlying stakes. We will for instance talk about performance, courage or innovation to describe what they refer to. But many organisations fail to question these words in depth. This can lead to difficulties in effectively working together or to the feeling of lack of meaning which many employees feel today. To find the right word to describe what the company is doing or going through is vital. Otherwise, how can one know what it actually means to be performant, responsible, innovative? Practicing philosophy is about defining what we talk about.



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