A world moving toward unimagined futureS
The terms knowledge industries, knowledge work and knowledge worker are nearly fifty years old.
They were coined around 1960, simultaneously but independently — the first by a Princeton economist, Fritz Machlup, the second and third by this writer.
Now everyone uses them, but as yet hardly anyone understands their implications for human values and human behavior, for managing people and making them productive, for economics, and for politics.
How knowledgeS work !!!
What is already clear, however, is that the emerging knowledge society and knowledge economy will be radically different from the society and economy of the late twentieth century.
(different career paths) …
Career expectations → re-creation will be essential
“Concentration—that is, the courage to impose on time and events
[one’s] own decision as to what really matters and comes first—is
the executive’s only hope of becoming the master
of time and events instead of their whipping boy.” PFD
Preparation needed → the new job offer | the new job | managing the boss
Promotions don’t automatically confer new magical capability continue …
“I am often asked whether I am an optimist or a pessimist.
For any survivor of this century to be an optimist would be fatuous.
We surely are nowhere near the end of the turbulences, the transformations, the sudden upsets, which have made this century one of the meanest, cruelest, bloodiest in human history.” — continue
A revolution in every generation
“Every generation needs a new revolution,” was Thomas Jefferson’s conclusion toward the end of his long life.
His contemporary, Goethe, the great German poet, though an arch-conservative, voiced the same sentiment when he sang in his old age:
Reason becomes nonsense, /Boons afflictions.
Both Jefferson and Goethe were expressing their generation’s disenchantment with the legacy of Enlightenment and French Revolution.
But they might just as well have reflected on our present-day legacy, 150 years later, of that great shining promise, the Welfare State, begun in Imperial Germany for the truly indigent and disabled, which has now become “everybody’s entitlement” and an increasing burden on those who produce.
Institutions, systems, policies eventually outlive themselves, as do products, processes, and services.
They do it when they accomplish their objectives and they do it when they fail to accomplish their objectives.
The mechanisms may still tick.
But the assumptions on which they were designed have become invalid—as, for example, have the demographic assumptions on which health-care plans and retirement schemes were designed in all developed countries over the last hundred years.
Then, indeed, reason becomes nonsense and boons afflictions.
Yet “revolutions,” as we have learned since Jefferson’s days, are not the remedy.
They cannot be predicted, directed, or controlled.
They bring to power the wrong people.
Worst of all, their results—predictably—are the exact opposite of their promises.
Only a few years after Jefferson’s death in 1826, that great anatomist of government and politics, Alexis de Tocqueville, pointed out that revolutions do not demolish the prisons of the old regime, they enlarge them.
The most lasting legacy of the French Revolution, Tocqueville proved, was the tightening of the very fetters of pre-Revolutionary France: the subjection of the whole country to an uncontrolled and uncontrollable bureaucracy, and the centralization in Paris of all political, intellectual, artistic, and economic life.
The main consequences of the Russian Revolution were new serfdom for the tillers of the land, an omnipotent secret police, and a rigid, corrupt, stifling bureaucracy—the very features of the czarist regime against which Russian liberals and revolutionaries had protested most loudly and with most justification.
And the same must be said of Mao’s macabre “Great Cultural Revolution.”
Indeed, we now know that “revolution” is a delusion, the pervasive delusion of the nineteenth century, but today perhaps the most discredited of its myths.
We now know that “revolution” is not achievement and the new dawn.
It results from senile decay, from the bankruptcy of ideas and institutions, from failure of self-renewal.
And yet we also know that theories, values, and all the artifacts of human minds and human hands do age and rigidify, becoming obsolete, becoming “afflictions.”
Innovation and entrepreneurship are thus needed in society as much as in the economy, in public-service institutions as much as in businesses.
It is precisely …
… because innovation and entrepreneurship are not “root and branch” but “one step at a time,” a product here, a policy there, a public service yonder;
… because they are not planned but focused on this opportunity and that need;
… because they are tentative and will disappear if they do not produce the expected and needed results;
… because, in other words, they are pragmatic rather than dogmatic and modest rather than grandiose—that they promise to keep any society, economy, industry, public service, or business flexible and self-renewing.
They achieve what Jefferson hoped to achieve through revolution in every generation, and they do so without bloodshed, civil war, or concentration camps, without economic catastrophe, but with purpose, with direction, and under control.
What we need is an entrepreneurial society in which innovation and entrepreneurship are normal, steady, and continuous.
He’s not talking about ↑ the meaningless “snake-oil” that so easily
flows off people’s tongues ↓
Just as management has become the specific organ of all contemporary institutions, and the integrating organ of our society of organizations, so innovation and entrepreneurship have to become an integral life-sustaining activity in our organizations, our economy, our society.
This requires of executives in all institutions that they make innovation and entrepreneurship a normal, ongoing, everyday activity, a practice in their own work and in that of their organization.
To provide concepts and tools for this task is the purpose of this book.
“I believe that Drucker’s work was guided by one audacious overarching question: What does it take — what principles are needed — to make society both more productive and more humane?
… snip, snip …
For free society to function at its best — and to thereby compete with tyranny — we must have high-performing, freely-operating organizations spread throughout society; these autonomous institutions, in turn, depend on having excellent management.
This is a classic Druckerian duality, linking together big and small, practical and philosophical, micro and macro; on the one hand, he stayed grounded in “what works” for managers, and on the other hand, he framed “what works” in the context of one of the most important long-term questions that human societies must address.”
The roots of terrorism and other bad stuff
“For the individual there is no society unless he has social status and function.”
The individual must know where he stands in the order and be able to feel with good reason that he fills a role in making that society work.
The rulers must be legitimate rulers, representative of those whom they rule and responsive to their needs.
The individual who lacks status and function is not only unhappy; HE IS DANGEROUS.
Lacking a fixed (though not immutable) place in the order of things, he is a destructive wanderer through the cosmos.
Feeling no responsibility to a society in which he has no place, he sets little value on life.
He will DESTROY and KILL because he has NO REASON not to destroy and kill.
When human beings seek status and do not find it, THE WORLD IS IN TROUBLE. continue
A Revolution in Human Affairs
The changes and challenges of Managing Oneself may seem obvious, if not elementary, compared to the changes and challenges discussed in the earlier chapters.
And the answers may seem to be self-evident to the point of appearing naïve.
To be sure, many topics in the earlier chapters—for example, Being a Change Leader or some of the Information Challenges—are far more complex and require more advanced and more difficult policies, technologies, methodologies.
But most of the new behavior—the new policies, technologies, methodologies—called for in these earlier chapters can be considered EVOLUTIONS.
Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.
It requires new and unprecedented things from the individual, and especially from the knowledge worker.
For in effect it demands that each knowledge worker THINK and BEHAVE as a Chief Executive Officer.
It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.
Knowledge workers, after all, first came into being in any substantial numbers a generation ago.
(I coined the term “knowledge worker,” but only thirty years ago, in my 1969 book The Age of Discontinuity.)
But also the shift from manual workers who do as they are being told—either by the task or by the boss to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves profoundly challenges social structure.
For every existing society, even the most “individualist” one, takes two things for granted, if only subconsciously: Organizations outlive workers, and most people stay put.
Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations, and the knowledge worker has mobility.
In the United States MOBILITY is accepted.
But even in the United States, workers outliving organizations—and with it the need to be prepared for a Second and Different Half of One’s Life—is a revolution for which practically no one is prepared.
Nor is any existing institution, for example, the present retirement system.
In the rest of the developed world, however, immobility is expected and accepted.
It is “stability.”
In Germany, for instance, mobility—until very recently came to an end with the individual’s reaching age ten or, at the latest, age sixteen.
If a child did not enter Gymnasium at age ten, he or she had lost any chance ever to go to the university.
And the apprenticeship that the great majority who did not go to the Gymnasium entered at age fifteen or sixteen as a mechanic, a bank clerk, a cook—irrevocably and irreversibly—decided what work the person was going to do the rest of his or her life.
Moving from the occupation of one’s apprenticeship into another occupation was simply not done even when not actually forbidden.
The developed society that faces the greatest challenge and will have to make the most difficult changes is the society that has been most successful in the last fifty years: Japan.
Japan’s success and there is no precedent for it in history—very largely rested on organized immobility—the immobility of “lifetime employment.”
In lifetime employment it is the organization that manages the individual.
And it does so, of course, on the assumption that the individual has no choice.
The individual is being managed.
I very much hope that Japan will find a solution that preserves the social stability, the community—and the social harmony that lifetime employment provided, and yet creates the mobility that knowledge work and knowledge workers must have.
Far more is at stake than Japan’s own society and civic harmony.
A Japanese solution would provide a model—for in every country a functioning society does require cohesion.
Still, a successful Japan will be a very different Japan.
But so will be every other developed country.
The emergence of the knowledge worker who both can and must manage himself or herself is transforming every society.
This book has intentionally confined itself to MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES.
Even in this last chapter, it has talked about the individual, that is, the knowledge worker.
But the changes discussed in this book go way beyond management.
They go way beyond the individual and his or her career.
What this book actually dealt with is:
THE FUTURE OF SOCIETY
Power has to be used
“It is a reality.
If the decent and idealistic toss power in the gutter, the guttersnipes pick it up.
If the able and educated refuse to exercise power responsibly, irresponsible and incompetent people take over the seats of the mighty and the levers of power.
Power not being used for social purposes passes to people who use it for their own ends.
At best it is taken over by the careerists who are led by their own timidity into becoming arbitrary, autocratic, and bureaucratic.” — PFD
It’s in the news
There are over 500 web pages on this site
What do these issues, these challenges mean for me and …
Larger ::: an alternative
Operacy — the thinking that goes into doing
Information is not enough → Dense reading and Dense listening
Thinking broad and Thinking detailed
Organization effortS (time usage) → problemS or opportunitieS
The capital “S” is a reminder of the constant “churn” throughout time and history on the road ahead ↑
How To Guarantee Non-Performance
- Commit any two of the following common sins and non-performance will follow
- Have a Lofty Objective
- To use such statements as “objectives” thus makes sure that no effective work will be done
- For work is always specific, always mundane, always focused
- Yet without work there is non-performance
- Try to Do Several Things at Once
- Splintering of efforts guarantees non-results
- Believe That “Fat Is Beautiful”
- It is even worse to overstaff than to overfund
- For overstaffing always focuses energies on the inside, on “administration” rather than on “results,” on the machinery rather than its purpose
- It immobilizes behind a facade of furious busyness
- Don’t experiment, be dogmatic
- Whatever you do, do it on a grand scale at the first try
- Otherwise, God forbid, you might learn how to do it differently.
- Successful application always demands adaptation, cutting, fitting, trying, balancing
- Always demands testing against reality before there is final total commitment
- Any new program, no matter how well conceived, will run into the unexpected, whether unexpected “problems” or unexpected “successes.”
- Make sure that you will not learn from experience
- Do not think through in advance what you expect; do not then feed back from results to expectations so as to find out what you can do well, but also what your weaknesses, your limitations, and your blind spots are.
- Inability to Abandon
- They may become pointless because the need to which they address themselves no longer exists or is no longer urgent
- They may become pointless because the old need appears in such a new guise as to make obsolete present design, shape, concerns, and policies
- The only rational assumption is that any public service program will sooner or later—and usually sooner—outlive its usefulness, at least in its present form, in respect to its present objectives, and with its present policies
- A public service program that does not conduct itself in contemplation of its own mortality becomes incapable of performance
- Avoiding These Six Deadly Sins Is the Prerequisite for Performance and Results
- Yet, as everyone in public administration knows, most administrators commit most of these “sins” all the time and indeed all of them most of the time
- One reason is plain cowardice
- The Lack of Concern With Performance in Public Administration Theory
- But perhaps even more important than cowardice as an explanation for the tendency of so much of public administration today to commit itself to policies that can only result in nonperformance, is the lack of concern with performance in public administration theory
A Society Of Organizations
An organization is a human group, composed of specialists working together on a common task.
Unlike society, community, or family—the traditional social aggregates—organization is purposefully designed and grounded neither in the psychological nature of human beings nor in biological necessity.
Yet, while a human creation, it is meant to endure—not perhaps forever, but for a considerable period of time.
An organization is always specialized.
It is defined by its task.
Community and society, by contrast, are defined by a bond that holds together human beings, whether language, culture, history or locality.
An organization is effective only if it concentrates on one task. continue
The Function Of Organizations
The function of organizations is to make knowledges productive.
Organizations have become central to society in all developed countries because of the shift from knowledge to knowledges.
The more specialized knowledges are, the more effective they will be.
The best radiologists are not the ones who know the most about medicine; they are the specialists who know how to obtain images of the body’s inside through X-ray, ultrasound, body scanner, magnetic resonance.
The best market researchers are not those who know the most about business, but the ones who know the most about market research.
Yet neither radiologists nor market researchers achieve results by themselves; their work is “input” only.
It does not become results unless put together with the work of other specialists.
Knowledges by themselves are sterile.
They become productive only if welded together into a single, unified knowledge.
To make this possible is the task of organization, the reason for its existence, its function.
We surely overdo specialization these days, worst of all in Academia.
But the cure is not to try to give specialists a “liberal education” so as to make “generalists” out of them (as I used to advocate myself for many years).
This does not work, we have now learned.
Specialists are effective only as specialists—and knowledge workers have to be effective.
The most highly effective knowledge workers do not want to be anything but narrow specialists.
Neurosurgeons get better and better the more they practice their skill; French horn players do not take up the violin, nor should they.
Specialists need exposure to the universe of knowledge (as will be argued in Chapter 12 below).
But they need to work as specialists, and to concentrate on being specialists.
And for this to produce results, an organization is needed. continue
Abandonment — enabling the way toward tomorrowS
“It (an organization) must be organized for systematic abandonment of the established, the customary, the familiar, the comfortable—whether products, services, and processes, human and social relationships, skills, or organizations themselves.
It is the very nature of knowledge that it changes fast and that today’s certainties will be tomorrow’s absurdities.” — continue
About Peter Drucker
Overview of his work
His books and books about him
Drucker’s life as a knowledge worker
The leading management thinker describes seven personal experiences that taught him how to grow, to change, and to age—without becoming a prisoner of the past. (calendarize this)
About Edward de Bono — thinking is the knowledge worker’s specific work; it is his/her “doing.”
There is no law requiring one to think for oneself or to make one's own ideas.
In important matters it is usually easier to accept other people's ideas ready-made and this saves one the trouble of doing any thinking for oneself—though one may still have to do it in minor matters.
Often one has no choice but to accept the ideas of others because thinking things out for oneself can be so difficult.
Education unfortunately provides little help in this matter.
You can probably remember things you were taught at school
about geography (valleys, river deltas, rice-growing countries, etc.) and
about history (dates of battles, names of kings, etc.).
But can you remember what you were taught about thinking?
The black cylinder experiment:
- There are the following points which are common both to everyday thinking and to the black cylinder experiment:
- Not enough information is given.
- There is no opportunity to collect the data one needs.
- Trial and error experimentation is not possible.
- There is no way of checking whether an idea is right or wrong.
- It is not a closed situation in which one can prove that one is right.
- There may be several different explanations.
- One is dealing with vague ideas and not with precise numbers which can be put through a mathematical formula.
- It is not so much a matter of checking ideas but of thinking of them first.
- In spite of the inadequate information one is required to come to a definite conclusion.
- There is no one to ask.
The richer and more complex the world in which you live, the more likely you are to be confused.
But it does not have to be so.
A fear that conscience like a nagging aunt is forever observing, scolding and directing behaviour …
Go through this book picking out the points that make sense to you and putting them together.
You can ‘graze’ through the book as often as you like or dip into it anywhere at any time
You are supposed to integrate what you read here with your own experience, rather than to choose one or the other.
You use what you find to be of value for you.
Wisdom is about awareness and possibilities: awareness of the world around; awareness of possibilities and choices.
Perception is a matter of picking out the patterns that we have got used to seeing.
It becomes difficult to see things in another way unless we make the effort demanded by wisdom.
Wisdom is about breadth of perception.
There are three types of breadth.
How widely do we look? How widely do we see?
How deeply do we look? Forward, backwards and into detail.
How rich is our vision? This means possibilities, speculations, alternatives and different points of view.
A logic bubble is that bubble of perceptions and values within which everyone acts logically.
Possibility is the key to wisdom.
Possibility is the basis of creativity.
Possibility is the best antidote to arrogance.
Possibility drives exploration.
Richness of perception and design are based on alternatives.
So is effective action.
The design of alternatives is a key element in wisdom.
Wisdom encourages different thoughts and different values.
This gives a richness of perception.
There does not have to be a choice of one and a rejection of the others
Parallel thinking is the opposite of traditional adversarial thinking.
Instead of judgement, both sides are laid down in parallel and then a way forward is designed.
Because wisdom encourages alternatives and possibilities, wisdom also encourages choice according to your values.
If we determine our values then those values can determine our choices and behaviour.
If our emotions come first then they determine our perceptions.
We only see things the way we want to see them.
We need judgement to find our way through life.
The danger is an excessive emphasis on rigid acceptances and rejections, and not enough attention to design.
Design is a matter of putting things together to achieve an objective and to serve our values.
Instead of searching for the standard solution we design a way forward.
Wisdom comes with growth.
But wisdom is also the fertilizer for growth.
A century of social transformation
“The twenty-first century will surely be one of continuing social, economic, and political turmoil and challenge, at least in its early decades.
The Power and Purpose of Objectives:
The Marks & Spencer Story and Its Lessons
The Age of Social Transformations is not over yet.
And the challenges looming ahead may be more serious and more daunting still than those posed by the social transformations that have already happened, the social transformations of the twentieth century”
Peter Drucker on jobs, debt, globalization, and recession
Knowledge has become the only meaningful resource → radical, non-linear changes
The new challenge facing the post-capitalist society is the productivity of knowledge workers and service workers.
To improve the productivity of knowledge workers will in fact require drastic changes in the structure of the organizations of post-capitalist society, and in the structure of society itself … continue
Unless we can learn how to increase the productivity of knowledge workers and service workers, and increase it fast, the developed countries will face economic stagnation and severe social tension … continue
… This means a radical change in structure for the organizations of tomorrow.
It means that the big business, the government agency, the large hospital, the large university will not necessarily be the one that employs a great many people.
It will be the one that has substantial revenues and substantial results—achieved in large part because it itself does only work that is focused on its mission; work that is directly related to its results; work that it recognizes, values, and rewards appropriately.
The rest it contracts out. continue
Detailed contents outline
Outflanking the nation-state
Transnationalism, Regionalism, and Tribalism
… But in the last decades—beginning perhaps in the 1970s—the nation-state has begun to come apart.
It has already been outflanked in crucial areas where “sovereignty” has lost all meaning.
Increasingly, the new challenges facing every government are challenges that simply cannot be dealt with by national or even international action.
They require transnational agencies, which have a “sovereignty” of their own.
Increasingly, regionalism is also sidelining the nation-state.
And internally, the nation-state is being undermined by tribalism.
The more transnational the world becomes, the more tribal it will also be.
This undermines the very foundations of the nation-state.
In fact, it ceases to be a “nation-state,” and becomes a “state” plain and simple, an administrative rather than a political unit.
Internationalism, regionalism, and tribalism between them are rapidly creating a new polity, a new and complex political structure, without precedent.
Luther, Machiavelli, and the Salmon
The railroad made the Industrial Revolution accomplished fact.
What had been revolution became establishment.
... snip, snip ...
… The next two or three decades are likely to see even greater technological change than has occurred in the decades since the emergence of the computer, and also even greater change in industry structures, in the economic landscape, and probably in the social landscape as well … continue
The Primacy of Knowledge
Peter observed that we are now in another critical moment: the transition from the industrial to the knowledge-based economy …
We should expect radical changes in society as well as in business
Failure to understand the nature, function, and purpose of business enterprise
“High tech is living in the nineteenth century,
the pre-management world.
They believe that people pay for technology.
They have a romance with technology.
But people don't pay for technology:
they pay for what they get out of technology.” —
The Frontiers of Management
Management’s New Paradigms
AS WE ADVANCE deeper into the knowledge economy, the basic assumptions underlying much of what is taught and practiced in the name of management are hopelessly out of date.
The center of a modern society, economy and community is not technology.
It is not information.
It is not productivity.
The center of modern society is the managed institution.
The managed institution is society’s way of getting things done these days.
And management is the specific tool, the specific function, the specific instrument, to make institutions capable of producing results (on the outside).
The institution, in short, does not simply exist within and react to society.
It exists to produce results on and in society.
Management’s concern and management’s responsibility are everything that affects the performance of the institution and its results—whether inside or outside, whether under the institution’s control or totally beyond it.
Making the future — the change leader
One thing is certain for developed countries—and probably for the entire world:
We face long years of profound changes.
The changes are not primarily economic changes.
They are not even primarily technological changes.
They are changes in demographics, in politics, in society, in philosophy and, above all, in worldview …
Economic theory and economic policy are unlikely to be effective by themselves in such a period.
And there is no social theory for such a period either.
Only when such a period is over, decades later, are theories likely to be developed to explain what has happened.
But a few things are certain in such a period.
It is futile, for instance, to try to ignore the changes and to pretend that tomorrow will be like yesterday, only more so.
This, however, is the position that existing institutions tend to adopt in such a period—businesses as well as nonbusinesses.
It is, above all, the policy likely to be adopted by the institutions that were most successful in the earlier period before the changes.
They are most likely to suffer from the delusion that tomorrow will be like yesterday, only more so.
Thus it can be confidently predicted that a large number of today's leaders in all areas, whether business, education or health care, are unlikely still to be around thirty years hence, and certainly not in their present form.
But to try to anticipate the changes is equally unlikely to be successful.
These changes are not predictable.
The only policy likely to succeed is to try to make the future.
Changes of course have to fit the certainties (which this book attempted to outline in the preceding chapter).
Within these restraints, however, the future is still malleable.
It can still be created.
To try to make the future is highly risky.
It is less risky, however, than not to try to make it.
A goodly proportion of those attempting to do what this chapter discusses will surely not succeed.
But, predictably, no one else will. (survive?)
Information is not enough → Dense reading and Dense listening and Thinking broad and Thinking detailed
What do these issues, these challenges mean for me and …
Larger ::: an alternative
What executives should remember → and the pages that it leads to …
Seeing the challenges of working through time
Considering the content and nature of your action management system — attention, dissect, harvest, calendarize
A foundation for individuals
About attention directing and thinking — your thinking, choices, decisions are determined by what you have seen
Other topic landscapes
Topic areas — can be used in conjunction with a Google Site search before jumping into an expensive, mis-directed effort …
abandonment | action-plans | amazon | brainroads-brainscapes | communications | community | computer-literacy | concepts | contribution | culture | dangerous-liaisons | decisions | design | development-efforts | devonthink | education | entrepreneurship | execution | globalization | information | innovation | kaizen | knowledge-management | knowledge-society | knowledge-specialty | knowledge-technologists | knowledge-workers | knowledge | leadership | learning | management | marketing | measurements | meetings | mission | network-society | opportunities | organization | other-word-challenges | people-management | performance | personal-finance | politics | presentations | production | productivity | profitability | project-thinking-planning | questions | reports | results | scrivener | society-of-organizations | spending | strategy | strengths | technology | thinking | time-management | topic-work | values | word-challenges | working-with-people
Chaotics: The Business of Managing and Marketing in the Age of Turbulence
Mike Kami (at one time he was the chief planning officer at both IBM and Xerox)
Management Challenges for the 21st Century
Managing in the Next Society
The Definitive Drucker
An improved site map coming later