pyramid to dna

An introduction & entry point to … ↓ ( a work in progress)

Navigating unimagined


Imagine the time span between pre World War I and 2050,
how many alternative realities and unimagined futures do you see?
From various points around the world, how does this change?

These unimagined alternative realities imply the need to
circumvent the organization and political power structures that
act on the assumption that tomorrow
is going to be an extrapolation of yesterday.


A work approach that searches for future horizons to work toward is needed


Unimagined futures ↑ → KNOWLEDGE is the only meaningful resource TODAY — dynamics & implications


It is impossible to work on “things/opportunities” that
aren’t on one’s mental radar at the “right & necessary” pointS in time ↑ ↓

Competing mental patterns is/are one of those “things” ↑


↑ trying to see & figure out what needs doing next

Your thinking, choices, decisions are determined by what you have seen ↑ ↓

“Seeing” ↑ ↓ precedes Doing

“Looking” comes before “Seeing”

The people who will largely shape an individual’s future
are aware — if only subconsciously — of that individual’s
worldview breadth and realism


Managing Oneself — a revolution in human affairs —
an “earlier” site beginning point. “Relevant to most of us — even those with modest endowments” …

There is a site breadcrumb trail near the bottom of this page

Why America’s Richest Cities Are Pulling Away From All the Others



The road ahead … ↑ going where no one has gone before ↑ ↓

We are all born into changing worldS
at different points in time
and different situationSsituation examples.

These situations frequently become life-long mental prisons …

Very, very, very frequently this ↑ is not seen before
an unpredictable, life-altering major change
or discontinuity takes place.


This complex reality ↑ is reflected in
the non-linear jumble of topics here ↑ ↓


To have a chance to deal with these realities
a pre-thought work approach is needed: the calendarization
of informed horizons to work toward ↓

This work approach has to extend beyond a current job or employer


The calendarization includes
concept   seeing & noting,

harvesting and action thinking — explored further down the page.


Seeing the non-linearity of time, the systems or
ecologies within which we are embedded and
the way-points you need to navigate during your
evolving horizons is very challenging … Attention


Part of this challenge can be visualized by conducting a page search for
knowledge, information, innovation, leader,
marketing, or management …


One way to digest the thought fragments on this page
is to visualize them along a timeline ↓

life lines

career time view

The concepts on the career time view illustration ↑ can be found by a page search




This site is not for you if you think tomorrow
is going to be an extrapolation of yesterday and
that some organization or politician is going to take care of you — despite
all the evidence to the contrary.

If you’re convinced that your daily work routines or
some organization change program is a safety net,
then this site is not for you.

If you naïvely believe that the
conversation and thinking that takes place behind closed doors
revolve around making your fantasies or passions come true,
then this site is not for you.

These ↑ notions essentially sabotage
the future of society and future generations.

If you accept that it’s your own responsibility
to work on your development and not depend
on any one company, maybe this site ( can help you
see your basic options or horizons continue


You can’t design your life around a temporary organization



How could you calendarize the concepts ↑ ↓ on this page?


larger version ↑ ::: Realities ::: The outer limit of your concern? ↑

We have no idea what’s coming next — other than it will be dramatically different — and

there is no way to know. There is no way to know what goes on behind closed doorS or

predict “Titanic type events” that sink rich and poor alike …


There are no permanent answers here or anywhere else ↓


The future is unpredictable and that implies it ain’t gonna be like today … And
with age and time we may become different people
in different situations


… And yet we can only work on, with and toward the ideaS ↓ on our mental radarS

at a point in time ↑ (see the images on this page)connection

The lack of competing patterns ↓ — the perennial danger

He’s ↓ trying to decide on the next effective action


Each clue ↑ ↓ could be called a “brain-address” and thought fragment

@Pew Research Center ::: @Project Syndicate ::: @TheEconomist ::: @FT ::: The Long Shadow of WW I

The blue hat+ is needed ↑

The return on luck ↑ ↓ requires action (calendarize this?)

See successful careers ↑ are not planned ↓




2 additional concepts that express the same ideas as the page title

or mental tools for working & living through time ↑ It ain’t always convenient …

@Pew Research Center ::: @Project Syndicate ::: @TheEconomist ::: @FT ::: The Long Shadow of WW I

or Navigating unimagined horizonS ↓ and their opportunitieS




“The world ain’t what it seems … The moment
you think you’ve got it figured out you’re wrong.”



“To know something,
to really understand something important,
one must look at it from sixteen different angles.

People are perceptually slow,
and there is no shortcut to understanding;
it takes a great deal of time.” read more




The navigation challenge ↑: to grow,
to change, and to age
becoming a prisoner of the past


Circa 1960 … “Indeed anyone over forty lives in a different world
from that in which he came to manhood,
lives as if he had emigrated, fully grown,
to a new and strange country.” continue


The closed doorsmay not even be obvious — China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it
reshape global trade? continue


Successful careerS ↓ are not planned continue


Unimagined futureS ↓ for many people


larger view

The concepts and patterns implied in the illustration above ↑ can be used
for testing the snake oil that floods through the Internet.

Of the 500 companies that started the Standard & Poor’s index,
85% failed to survive forty years –
less than the working life of the people in them –
and these figures pre-date the 2007/8 crisis.
Only one of the original 500 remains.
In Europe, the average life expectancy of a company
is currently around 12.5 years. continue

So when you lose your current source of income ↑
how many top of the food chain organizations (here and here)
will be clamoring to get you?
Why would they be interested in you?
What do you have that they want?

All one can do is strive to have a prepared mind ↓ that doesn’t extrapolate the past …

… and nobody is going to do it for you — quite the opposite!



This page is a top-of-the-food-chain exploration path
for collecting navigation building blocks below

These building blocks are essentially thought fragments and “brain-addresses”

horizons to work toward and those to steer away from

It is your job to connect these fragments in ways
that are genuinely useful to you over the long-term …

Look ↓ → north, south, east, west and note what you see ↓ continue

(calendarize this ↑?)



Political ecologists
believe that the traditional disciplines define fairly narrow
and limited tools rather than meaningful and self-contained
areas of knowledge, action, and events

Peter Drucker ::: The Über Mentor



A quick page scroll provides a preview of this page’s breadth



Navigating can only be undertaken
with what’s on each individual’s mental radar (explore ↓)
at a point ↓ in time
↓ → about time


Danger: yesterday’s mental patterns

“No two persons ever read the same book.” — Edmund Wilson

“Truth ↑ is a particular constellation of circumstances ↑ with a particular outcome ↑” continue

“The actual results of action are not predictable ↓ ” continue

Areas of change ↑ = opportunity continue


Knowledge → ← research management and technologies outside one’s field of vision at a point in time are two examples of point-in-time dependance

Organization as a community destabilizer at a point-in-time is another example

Windows of opportunity

Connect, only connect

These examples of ↑ areas of change are dynamic rather than static. They produce continuing sets of new realities and new options ↓ …

Four forces are upending everything you thought you knew | McKinsey Global Institute

New Maps, New Media and a New Human Condition — Knowledge@Wharton

Summer’s Unhappy Returns by Project Syndicate — Project Syndicate

Why China’s Cities Will Drive Global Growth by Chang Ka Mun and Jaana Remes — Project Syndicate

The Economic Trend Is Our Friend — Project Syndicate

Experimental Capitalism by Haydn Shaughnessy (fortune favors the bold)

Google: disruptive

“Shipping: The struggle to stay afloat

Last month (August 2016) Hanjin Shipping, one of the world’s largest shipping-container firms, filed for bankruptcy protection.

Around the world, 66 of its ships, loaded with $14.5 billion of goods, were left stranded at sea.

Ports refused to let the vessels dock because the line had no money to pay unloading fees.

Companies that move their goods around by sea are worried that other container lines will soon follow, writes our online business editor” continue



What’s needed to make that navigation effective?

First of all, taking more responsibility for oneself and not depending on any one company continue

This implies that you can’t depend on any of society’s organizations, but all of them aren’t going to simultaneously vaporize — some will crystalize and die a slow death, some will transmute themselves, some will die a sudden death and there will be new ones that survive the startup process … continue


“Making a living is no longer enough,” wrote management guru Peter Drucker. “Work also has to make a life.” (calendarize this?)

If you want to keep good people, their work needs to provide them with meaning — a sense they are doing something important, that they are fulfilling their destiny.

At the end of the day, these psychological needs are likely to be as important, and perhaps more important, than the salary you pay. source

Effective navigation requires choosing one’s horizons very wiselyexperts speak :(


To make a living is no longer enough. Work
also has to make a life
” ↓ — #drucker (calendarize this?)


“History’s great achievers—a Napoleon, a da Vinci, a Mozart have always managed themselves.

That, in large measure, is what makes them great achievers.

But they are rare exceptions, so unusual both in their talents and their accomplishments as to be considered outside the boundaries of ordinary human existence.

Now, most of us, even those of us with modest endowments, will have to learn to manage ourselves.

We will have to learn to develop ourselves.

Will have to place ourselves where we can make the greatest contribution. see about “time”

And we will have to stay mentally alert and engaged during a 50-year working life, which means knowing how and when to change the work we do.” continue



Caution: the knowledge areas (fiefdoms) contained within the education system do not control reality continue



Fortune favors the prepared mind ↓


@Pew Research Center ::: @Project Syndicate ::: @TheEconomist ::: @FT ::: The Long Shadow of WW I

Peter Drucker (a social ecologist) → he liberated me

Drucker: The Man Who Invented the Corporate Society


“I (Drucker) am not a ‘theoretician’; through my consulting practice I am in daily touch with the concrete opportunities and problems of a fairly large number of institutions, foremost among them businesses but also hospitals, government agencies and public-service institutions such as museums and universities.

And I am working with such institutions on several continents: North America, including Canada and Mexico; Latin America; Europe; Japan and South East Asia.” — PFD




The 500+ pages on are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving toward unimagined futureS.

It’s up to the reader — the explorer — to figure out what to harvest and calendarize

Calendarization means working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of a person’s concern) — nobody is going to do it for them.

A foundation + you can’t build a life around a temporary organization

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what has been rejected.

The reader’s future is between their ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise.




The apparently unperceived constant reality


We are surrounded by previously unimagined futureS ↑ ↓

We may also be embedded in previously unimagined futures

Nobody and I mean nobody, foresaw today’s world just
a few years ago and nobody
knows what tomorrowS will bring …

… except it won’t be like today

You can easily test this assertion ↑ by looking back in time …

Examples ↑ can be seen in the daily news …
Twitter: @TheEconomist @FT @ProSyn @mckinsey
@whartonknows @pewresearch @GallupNews

So don’t get surprised by the next sudden discontinuity
in your strategic situationS
. examples


Try to maintain an informed ↑ proactive work approach
It ain’t easy …
in fact, it is very, very difficult


The alternative ↑ to a proactive approach
is waiting to fail before
exploring new and different horizons


And how and where will younger generations
gain exposure to a comparable thoughtscape ↓ ↑ —
the education system? NOT, at work? NOT, or from a narrow focus consultant? NOT

Will they be left behind in the shift to knowledge work?

Will they inherit a world in stagnation and not see ↓ what to do?




Navigating requires finding “horizons” or “destinations”
and “way-points” to work toward ↓
… but how can this be done in a world moving toward
repeated unimagined futureS? more examples


It is impossible to work on “things” ↑
that aren’t on your mental radar ↓

↑ is an over-simplification — it should mention START ↓ to work

Those “things” ↑ don’t fit into one familiar, remotely-neat, integrated tool kit ↓
… but everything here ↑ ↓ is intertwined …

Reading is only the first step in navigating
calendarizationworking something out in timeis essential

Your mental radar needs to contain top-of-the-food-chain ideas
that don’t make you a prisoner of the past


currently ↓ individually ↓ and collectively ↓ → Awareness


Site scope
This site contains over 500 web pages ↑ and thousands of topics

Fortune favors the prepared mind” continue

Once you see something you can’t unsee it




Just reading is not enough …

Concepts have to be converted into daily action

book harvesting


Harvesting and action thinking are needed

Managing oneself should be the action foundation

You can select and note areas of interest. You can employ what does this mean for me? (illustration) with the PMI, dense reading and dense listening plus thinking broad and thinking detailed with operacy to see where that takes you. The potential effectiveness of our thinking depends on our existing mental landscape → see experts speak. What’s the next effective action?


Concept acquisition → action conversion → click image ↓


harvest and implement

When we are involved in doing something, it is very difficult
to look outside that involvement — even when our future depends on it.
Additionally, everything eventually outlives its usefulness continue


And now for the rest of the story




This page and its links contain thought fragments that can be added to your life evidence wall ↓, thoughtscape and timescape ↓


↑ Translated into an action system for building YOUR life


A quick page scroll provides a preview of the breadth involved …

As you are looking at the thought fragments on this page and site, don't memorize → instead calendarize. Use these though fragments as a tool to redirect your attention from your current routines to possible horizons and action constellations to work toward. Liberate yourself → Don’t be a prisoner of the past …

You can only work on, with, and toward ↑ the things on your mental radar at a point in time ↓. This means you need an individual work approach and approach to work. Briefly this entails: mental exploration ↑ ↓; selection and noting; time scheduling; reviewing; doing; expectation recording; feedback; and monitoring change … The ideas and realities of on, with, and toward ↑ need to be fully perceived — time and place dependence — for any of this to be individually useful …


Just reading ↑ ↓ is not enough,
harvesting and action thinking are needed


Aim high ↑ ↓ Parallel thinking


If every stage ↑ results in organization resource increases
then the next stage can move more quickly, but
innovation in the existing organization requires special effort

↓ collected, effective thought fragments provide building blocks ↑ ↓ ::: project plan ↓


Larger view

Time spans


Successful careerS are not planned continue

Kitchen utensils metaphor: Our kitchens typically contain utensils and devices that make possible or assist us in what we are attempting. Once a person SEES the device or utensil’s function, they can use it when it’s appropriate — at the right time and in the right sequence. The same applies to thought fragments ↑ ↓. What happens when you add recipe books, websites, or tv shows to the cook’s arsenal?

Chess metaphor: Situation review → Consider alternative available moves → Make your move(s) → Evaluate new situation → Others respond → Repeat loop

Imagine this ↑ taking place in multiple parallel conceptual spaces

How can you connect the intersections between a concept or thought fragment and a point in time (needs doing)?




The “memo” ↓
THEY don’t want you to see

THEY ↑ are the simpleton ideologues and the political
and organization power structures …
THEY act as if tomorrowS are going to be like yesterdayS — they
direct efforts toward problems not opportunities.

THEY don’t want you to be able to circumvent them.
THEY want you depending on them — it makes them feel “important.”
THEY “want” you to be a prisoner of yesterday — just like they are …

THEIR approach effectively sabotages themselves (if they get caught),
THEIR communities, THEIR colleagues and the future of society

Don’t be their victim …





“People in any organization are always attached to the obsolete—the things that should have worked but did not, the things that once were productive and no longer are.” ― more on abandonment

Organization efforts ::: Opportunities




WIP: This “subject” is a complex and evolving timescape → As you are exploring this page and its linked pages try to develop a mental model — a work approach and approach to work — that is adequate to your realistic needs — which includes how you touch others and how will you remember and revisit what you’ve seen before the next crisis?




TomorrowS … you can’t get there directly from here ↓
… so you can’t get there by piling up more todayS — even
by making some adjustments.
The challenge is to “go where no one has gone before”  


Time usage is the central navigation challengeabout time

Clue ↑: if you keep doing what worked in the past you’e going to fail — think about it …

Allocating your life is a related dimension …

Everything here concerns time investing and time investments …


Freedom is the heaviest burden ↓ laid on man … about freedom


Information is not enough … thinking is needed




“If you know the road, life is easier. If you can see the road, life is easier. If you can discover new roads, life is richer. If you know you have a choice of roadS, life is richer.” … more wisdom

To know and not do is to not yet know

Having alternative mental landscapes is a very good !!! thing … essential competing patterns

Edward de Bono’s thoughtscape

Larger view of thinking principles ↓ Text version ↓ :::
Always be constructiveWhat additional thinking is needed?


“One can … never be sure
what the knowledge worker thinks—and yet
THINKING !!! is her/his specific work;
it is his/her “doing.””

When does a person possess a broad enough mental landscape
to effectively work on the challenges confronting them? ↓ ↓ ↓


Dealing with risk and uncertainty ↑ ↓


Reality check

People at each of these organizations ↑ ↓ think they are doing fine. They
act — mis-act — on this assumption …


larger view

“Corporations once built to last like pyramids
are now more like tents.

Tomorrow they’re gone or in turmoil.”

HP 10+ years later

Only The Paranoid Survive


“The failure to understand the nature, function, and
purpose of business enterprise” Chapter 9, Management Revised Edition

“The customer never buys ↑ what you think you sell.
And you don’t know it.

That’s why it’s so difficult to differentiate yourself.” Druckerism


“People in any organization are always attached to the obsolete
the things that should have worked but did not,
the things that once were productive and no longer are.” Druckerism


Conditions for survival


Going outside


Making the future — a chance for survival

Successful careerS are not planned ↑ continue

The life span ↑ of successful companies has been shrinking steadily …

How to guarantee non-performance ::: What results should you expect?

McKinsey & Company (Global management consultants) on
the disappointing realities of change programs and learning / training

Chaotics: The Business of Managing and Marketing in the Age of Turbulence

What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious
Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation
by Gary Hamel

When consultants and other advice givers ↑ do their thing,
there is a foundational assumption that the object of their focus can be tweaked
so as to last forever — disco, station wagons …
In other words they are trying to predict what is unpredictable.

Successful careerS are not planned ↓ continue


… By now everybody at General Motors knows that these are the crucial problems. And yet General Motors does not seem able to resolve them. Instead General Motors has tried to sidestep them by the old — and always unsuccessful — attempt to “diversify.” Acting on the oldest delusion of managements: “if you can’t run your own business buy one of which you know nothing,” General Motors has bought first Electronic Data Systems and then Hughes Aircraft. Predictably this will not solve General Motors’s problems. Only becoming again a truly effective automobile manufacturer can do that. — The Concept of the Corporation


The theory of the business et. al.

The spirit of performance




Taking careerS responsibility in a world repeatedly moving toward unimagined futureS — continuing radical changes in the world of work ↑ ↓ and the world of employers ↑ (it’s all around you already)


larger version

This responsibility ↑ includes: (a foundation of awareness ::: the right kind of education ::: a valuable, mobile knowledge specialty (a knowledge specialty applicable to a specific application where they need you more than you need them) ::: self-knowledge ::: finding meaningful work that builds on your strengths and values ::: self-placement ::: contribution thinking and doing ::: self-development ::: evolving aspirations that aim high ::: not depending on any one organization ::: becoming and remaining mobile (what do — or will — you have that others want? and why would they be interested in you?) ::: the second half of your life + ? the main career evolution exploration path

For knowledge workers, How do I perform? may be an even more important question than What are my strengths?

“You must take integrating responsibility for putting yourself into the big picture.” Pluralism

Knowledge Work As A System — orthopedic surgeons

Where do MBAs fit in a knowledge organization? continue

The Educated Personhere and here

Young people not knowing how to connect their knowledgeDrucker on Asia

No matter how much money you’re making you may still be a passenger on a Titanic. Try to keep an eye on external conditions and maintain an realistic, effective escape strategy and plan. (calendarize this?)

Make a difference

If you went to the mall or a major service provider and looked at the offerings → Which ones really make a difference? For whom? Under what circumstances?

Pretend that this thinking exercise ↑ was conducted at different points in time → What would you see?


Try to mentally arrange the elements ↑ above so they lead you …


larger view


A structural view ↑ ↓


larger view


The executive and the knowledge worker have only one toolinformation

Quantification for most of the phenomena in a social ecology is misleading or at best useless continue



Don’t tell anyone they can be anything they want ↓

“Most human beings excel at one thing at most, and not very many excel even at one.

And very few people excel at more than one.

And I don’t think you’ll find anybody who excels at three.” — PFD

Apply this ↑ observation



“It’s up to you to keep yourself engaged & productive during a work life that may span some 50 years.” — the usual suspect


But in our knowledge economy, says Drucker, “if you haven’t learned how to learn, you’ll have a hard time.

Knowing how to learn is partly curiosity.

But it’s also a discipline.”

He’s talking about learning for life — rather than schools, grading etc.
Is that learning to do what the life situation needs?



Warning: the corporate-ladder is a dying concept — think symphony orchestra and taking on one assignment after the other.

Managing the boss is an essential career skill.

Promotions don’t automatically confer new magical capability continue

Leaders and leadershipbeware of snake-oil sales pitches

… “And another thing, they know how to say no.

The pressure on leaders to do 984 different things is unbearable, so the effective ones learn how to say no and stick with it.

They don’t suffocate themselves as a result.

Too many leaders try to do a little bit of 25 things and get nothing done.

They are very popular because they always say yes.

But they get nothing done.” (calendarize this?)



In my job there isn't much challenge, not enough achievement, not enough responsibility; and there is no mission, there is only expediency

Today, the great majority of Americans live in big cities and their suburbs.

They have moved away from their moorings, but they still need a community.

And it is working as unpaid staff for a non-profit institution that gives people a sense of community, gives purpose, gives directioncontinue

Beware of good intentions



Successful careerS ↑ are not planned ↓

They develop when people are prepared for opportunities
because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values ↓

Being prepared for opportunities

This is who I am ::: The new job

(Attention, dissect, harvest, calendarize these ↑?)

Traditional career paths are an endangered species and
all career paths will lead toward unimagined futureS — continued below

This ↑ takes place within the dynamics of a changing world


This thoughtscape ↑ ↓ is not about looking for or doing jobs.
It is about continuously looking for YOUR future liveS
and own person — a moving target.

Our natural mental foundation in life is that of a baby, a teenager,
a beginner, an imitator of numerous other ordinary people …
with no exposure toward top-of-the-food-chain vision and thinking.

The best time (remember time usage?)
to work on creating your futureS is when you don’t need to —
when there isn’t a serious cloud in the sky — like now.
Nobody is going to do it for you … Josh Abrams stages ++

What do you want to be remembered for?

From an overall viewpoint this thoughtscape ↑ ↓
is about the future of society
If capable people just keep on doing
what they are currently doing
there will be stagnation or worse → road ahead



Deciding ↑ where to jump next ↓ — there
are no guaranteed safe landing spots … and
that’s why you need to be mobile
Why great companies fail


Larger view


Money ↑ knows no fatherland ↑ Nor does information … An economic
landscape and timescape → content and structure of the economy

FULL UP: there is no vacuum, there are no gaps.
Time, space and resources are all committed continue

Knowledge system view ↑ ↓ (image only)



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.

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.
Chapter 4, Management, Revised Edition

… “For the major new insights in every one
of the specialized knowledges arise out of another,
separate specialty, out of another one of the knowledges.

Both economics and meteorology are being transformed
at present by the new mathematics of chaos theory.
Geology is being profoundly changed by the physics of matter;
archaeology, by the genetics of DNA typing;
history, by psychological, statistical, and technological analyses
and techniques.” Chapter 48, Management, Revised Edition

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.
“We haven’t seen all those changes yet,” he added.
Even the very products we buy will change drastically. …
He spent the better part of the next two hours defining and pulling this idea apart
(the application of knowledge to knowledge): the importance of
accessing, interpreting, connecting, and translating knowledgemore




3 kinds of intelligence and 9 action behaviors ↑ ↓ ← Niccolò Machiavelli ↑ ↓


Larger view ↑ ::: TEC-PISCO

Thought collector and harvested action items

It is impossible to work on things that aren't on your mental radar

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


Larger view

dense reading and dense listening plus thinking broad and thinking detailed

Six Thinking Hats ↓ ::: Teach Yourself to Think ↓ ::: Why?
Thinking canvases are needed

Aim high ↑ ↓ Parallel thinking ::: “Begin with an end in mind”

Executive responsibilities: decisions → that lead to real change

Operacy — the thinking that goes into doing

Water logic vs. rock logic

“The actual results of action are not predictable ” continue


Larger view

Constant vigilance is required to prevent oneself from being mentally blind to the changes taking place around them while they are busy encapsulated within their own mental involvements (calendarize this?)


In the real world → levels of work and impact can be perceived:

The invisible hand


The designing network

The shaping network

The doing networks

Professional football

College football

High school football


“Follow effective action with quiet reflection.

From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” — Peter Drucker




It’s not just that the world has changed.
It is that the way the world ↓ functions ↓ has changed !

Return to top or Knowledge economy +++ ↑ or Far-east cities

A change in the way the world functions or worksthe manager and the moron


Unimagined FutureS ↑ ↓
Post-Capitalist Society ::: a thoughtscape


A Century of Social Transformation — Knowledge Economy and Knowledge Polity !!! ↑

The shift from manual workers


“Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation.

We cross what in an earlier book, I called a “divide.”

The New Realities—1989.

Within a few short decades, society rearranges itself
its worldview; its basic values; its social and political structure; its arts; its key institutions.

Fifty years later, there is a new world.

And the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived and into which their own parents were born.

… and at that time ↓, unimagined futureS seemed unthinkable …
because tomorrow is always going to be like yesterday … right?


Who would imagine the British Empire and social system ↑ unraveling? …
And then almost a century later the withdrawal from the EU (brexit)

Successful careerS are not planned continue

On June 28, 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand ↓ of Austria was assassinated.

This lead to WW I and the punitive treaty at its conclusion
which lead to Hitler and WW II, which lead to
the awakening of a sleeping giant (the U.S.), which lead to Japan’s ascendance
as a global economic power and
then to the rise of South Korea, Singapore, and the overseas Chinese …

Long Shadow


… and at that time ↓, unimagined futureS seemed unthinkable …


… and at that time ↓, unimagined futureS seemed unthinkable …


… and at that time ↓, unimagined futureS seemed unthinkable …


Will this ↑ be the last unimagined change in the sequence portrayed above?
If not, when will unimagined change come to a halt?

Yahoo! — an organization odyssey



We are currently living through just such a transformation.

It is creating the post-capitalist society,
which is the subject of this book.

... snip, snip ...

A Century of Social Transformation —
Emergence of Knowledge Society

... snip, snip ...

Our period, two hundred years later, is such a period of transformation.

This time it is not, however, confined to Western society and Western history.

Indeed, it is one of the fundamental changes that there no longer is a “Western” history or, in fact, a “Western” civilization.

There is only world history and world civilization—but both are “Westernized.” see images below

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The Vanishing East

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The one thing we can be sure of is that the world that will emerge from the present rearrangement of values, beliefs, social and economic structures, of political concepts and systems, indeed, of worldviews, will be different from anything anyone today imagines. (so a “work approach” and “approach to work” is needed ↓)

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Making the future → a chance for survival

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That the new society will be both a non-socialist and a post-capitalist society is practically certain.

And it is certain also that its primary resource will be knowledge.

… but not knowledge as it is presented in the education system

This also means that it will have to be a society of organizations.

… and Knowledge Workers hold THE crucial card in their mobility

The Management Revolution

Certain it is that in politics we have already shifted from the four hundred years of the sovereign nation-state to a pluralism in which the nation-state will be one rather than the only unit of political integration.

It will be one component—though still a key component—in what I call the “post-capitalist polity,” a system in which transnational, regional, nation-state, and local, even tribal, structures compete and co-exist.”

“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”

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The economic challenge of the post-capitalist society will therefore be the productivity of knowledge work and the knowledge workerhere, here and here.

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Forty years ago, people doing knowledge work and service work formed still less than one third of the work force.

Today, such people account for three quarters if not four fifths of the work force in all developed countries—and their share is still going up.

Their productivity, rather than the productivity of the people who make and move things, is THE productivity of a developed economy.

It is abysmally low.

The productivity of people doing knowledge work and service work may actually be going down rather than going up.

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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.

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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.

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… 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.

Outsourcing (not offshoring) ::: Making the future

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.


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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.

see ↑ here

The alternative to tyranny


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Nothing “post” is permanent or even long-lived.

Ours is a transition period.

What the future society will look like, let alone whether it will indeed be the “knowledge society” some of us dare hope for, depends on how the developed countries RESPOND to the challenges of THIS transition period, the post-capitalist period—their intellectual leaders, their business leaders, their political leaders, but above all each of us in our own WORK and LIFE.

Yet surely this is a time to make the future—precisely because everything is in flux.

This is a time for action.


A Century of Social Transformation —
Emergence ↓ of Knowledge Society,
Society of Organizations, and
Network Society


Not so long ago the world ↑ looked like this ↓

… and at that time, unimagined futureS seemed unthinkable …


There is more to this story
and there is “remanence” for a long time …




YouTube: The History of the World in Two Hours
— beginning with the industrial revolution



Netflix: Marco Polo

Netflix: Empire of the Tsars


The Lessons of History



… Juxtaposing the great lives, ideas, and accomplishments with cycles of war and conquest, the Durants reveal the towering themes of history and give meaning to our own.

Hesitations | History and the Earth | Biology and History | Race and History | Character and History | Morals and History | Religion and History | Economics and History | Socialism and History | Government and History | History and War | Growth and Decay | Is Progress Real?



Financial survival

… “There are so many great families whose former grandeur survives only as an echo — in the names of museums, converted mansions, streets, and towns. Their descendants don't have it anymore. Taxes, inflation, expropriation, and changing times have pulled them down. If they, armed with the cleverest advisers, bankers, and lawyers couldn't keep their money, can it be easy?

Survival is a competition. What you have, including your savings, others want, and will struggle to get. The push to take it back from you is as relentless as that of the sea to overcome the dikes that contain it or the jungle to enfold a patch of cleared ground. The whole order of nature pushes to reclaim its own. Governments bow to that kind of pressure. Pieces of paper are a weak defense.

Only through deep understanding and superior tactics can the investor hope to preserve even part of what he has saved, and the job gets harder every year.

In many countries it is virtually impossible, and almost everybody eventually becomes a ward of the state, whose pretensions thus become irresistible. The barons being impoverished, King John is supreme.” continue



A basic challenge confronting all of us is that we get older and older and more and more set in our ways and thoughts in a world that is going to become less and less recognizable — a world that bears less and less resemblance to the worldS of 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040 ...

BTY there are surely movies or TV shows that focus on the major events and situations of each of these ↑ time periods.

Beyond the above there are changing strategic situations that cause individuals a great deal of difficulty, damage and pain: things not working out the way we assumed, wars, epidemics, rampant inflation, government incompetence and cruelty, terror attacks, community and industry meltdowns, conspiracies, job and career loss, crime, not getting or digesting the memo, boredom … What else can you imagine?

There’s no way to know what goes on behind closed doors that is going to have an impact on you … prepare yourself … #wgobcd

Economists, Politicians, Hitler, Churchhill, Stalin …

Strategic situations change so slowly that the motion may be practically invisible or undetectable and yet they can change so fast that it’s almost impossible to keep up.

“Few people in America during the Depression years believed in “recovery,” certainly not after 1937 when the slight economic improvement that had followed Roosevelt’s reelection spending proved a short-lived mirage.” continue

What could you do if your prime source of income immediately came to an end? continue



larger view

“Corporations once built to last like pyramids
are now more like tents.

Tomorrow they’re gone or in turmoil.”



In 9 Out Of 10 Cities, Middle-Income Families Are Slipping Away


YouTube: 1000 years of European borders change ↓ —
wars, migration, killing, stealing, enslavement, rape, revenge
and the roots of terrorism and other bad stuff.
The wounds still fester … and yet.

List of wars by death toll

What thinking can be observed ↑ ↓?

Netflix: Apocalypse: The Second World War

Netflix: World War II — Man of Steel ::: Stalin the terrorist


See the immediate human impact along the initial thrust lines and
the broader subsequent impacts created by
the reactions to the immediate impacts. This is a common change theme …

larger view

Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny

Netflix: Hitler and the Nazis

Netflix: Tokyo Trial

Netflix: Hiroshima: BBC History of World War II

Netflix: World War II in Colour

Netflix: World War Two: 1942 and Hitler's Soft Underbelly

Netflix: Auschwitz: The nazis and the final solution

Netflix: World War II: Final Days

Europe’s Last Chance

Netflix: World War II Spy School (an evolutionary tale)

Netflix: Ian Fleming — The Man Who be Bond (an evolutionary tale)

The Good Shepherd (an evolutionary tale on multiple fronts)

Netflix: Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story (an evolutionary tale)

Netflix: The Honorable Woman (a tale of deception, sabotage, and conspiracies)

The End of Economic Man: The Origins of Totalitarianism

Schindler’s List

Netflix: Long Shadow — Each episode explores an enduring legacy
of the First World War through the century that followed,
tracing the impact on attitudes to war and peace,
on politics and on nationalism. Liberal democracy

Extreme survival skills and tools: Taken, Jack Reacher, The Racheteer, Jason Bourne

Run, Hide, Fight

Landmarks of Tomorrow — a 1957 worldview


The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli — Kindle version available


Only fairy tales end with: “They lived happily everafter”


Zero Days
a documentary thriller about warfare in a world without rules —
the world of cyberwar. The film tells the story of Stuxnet … The
cyber ability to cause physical damage …


The alternative to tyranny


The Unfashionable Kierkegaard


Planning is frequently misunderstood as making future decisions, but decisions exist only in the present.”







“Individuals hold worldviews, beliefs about the purpose of existence, who they must ultimately answer to, and what they are responsible for … ” continue

“But a worldview is, above all, an experience”

What Everybody Knows Is Frequently Wrong ::: If You Keep Doing What Worked in the Past You’re Going to Fail ::: Approach Problems with Your Ignorance—Not Your Experience ::: Develop Expertise Outside Your Field to Be an Effective Manager ::: Outstanding Performance Is Inconsistent with Fear of Failure ::: You Must Know Your People to Lead Them ::: People Have No Limits, Even After Failure ::: Base Your Strategy on the Situation, Not on a Formula — A Class With Drucker: The Lost Lessons of the World's Greatest Management Teacher


Why Peter Drucker Distrusted Facts (HBR blog) and here


Limits of Quantification

The unique event that changes the universe is an event “at the margin.”

By the time it becomes statistically significant, it is no longer “future”;
it is, indeed, no longer even “present.”

It is already “past.”



Making the future → a chance for survival


True Detective


… A good many organizations and their managements do not even make their present organizations effective — and yet the organizations somehow survive for a while.

The big business, in particular, seems to be able to coast a long time on the courage, work, and vision of earlier managers.

But tomorrow always arrives.

It is always different.

And then even the mightiest company is in trouble if it has not worked on the future.

It will have lost distinction and leadership—all that will remain is big-company overhead.

It will neither control nor understand what is happening.

Not having dared to take the risk of making the new happen, it perforce took the much greater risk of being surprised by what did happen.

And this is a risk that even the largest and richest organization cannot afford and that even the smallest one need not run. continue



But precisely because there are so many different areas of importance,
the day-by-day method of management
is inadequate
even in the smallest and simplest business.

Because deterioration is what happens normally—that is,
unless somebody counteracts it—there is need for
a systematic and purposeful program.

There is need to reduce the almost limitless possible tasks
to a manageable number.

There is need to concentrate scarce resources
on the greatest opportunities and results.

There is need to do the few right things
and do them with excellence.

Managing for Results by Peter Drucker

… more on organization efforts



“Managers are synthesizers
who bring resources together
and have that ability to “smell ↓” opportunity and timing.

Today perceptiveness is more important than analysis

In the new society of organizations,
you need to be able to recognize patterns
to see what is there
rather than what you expect to see.”
Interview: Post-Capitalist Executive



Power has to be used

“It is a reality.

If the decent and idealistic toss power in the gutter, the guttersnipes pick it up.

A revolution in every generation is not the answer

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.

The antidote

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



“Beware the man on the white horse”continue

The alternative to tyranny



You can’t have a healthy organization in a sick society” — #Drucker


“Man in his social and political existence must have a functioning society just as he must have air to breathe in his biological existence.

However, the fact that man has to have a society does not necessarily mean that he has it.

Nobody calls the mass of unorganized, panicky, stampeding humanity in a shipwreck a “society.”

There is no society, though there are human beings in a group.

Actually, the panic is directly due to the breakdown of a society; and the only way to overcome it is by restoring a society with social values, social discipline, social power, and social relationships.

Social life cannot function without a society; but it is conceivable that it does not function at all.

The evidence of the last twenty-five years of Western civilization hardly entitles us to say that our social life functioned so well as to make out a prima-facie case for the existence of a functioning society.” — The Daily Drucker



Drucker: The Man Who Invented the Corporate Society

Homeland Security ↓

“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.

Collage created using TurboCollage software from

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.

Here we see prefigured the current, awful realities of the rootless destroyers — the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Weather Underground, the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

“Status-seeking,” Drucker was saying, is not an egocentric foible.

It is a part of the human condition.

When human beings seek status and do not find it, THE WORLD IS IN TROUBLE.

jumping forward

He anticipates the debate that was to grow over the question of “relativism versus eternal verities.”

He scorns both extremes — but he is a lot tougher on the relativists.

He dismisses the “masses” and derides the kind of thinking that glorifies the faceless crowd.

The masses are not glorious; they are “a product of SOCIAL DECOMPOSITION and a RANK POISON.”

Cold? Remote? Cynically snobbish?

Maybe; but Drucker’s aim is to take people out of the mass and MAKE THEM FUNCTIONING INDIVIDUALS in a FUNCTIONING SOCIETY.” ← Make everybody a contributor — The knowledge based organization → from command to information to the responsibility-based organization continue



…“I was lost long before the (Berlin) wall fell.

I was once destined to become a man much like yourself—true hearted, determined, full of purpose—but character is easier kept than recovered.

We cannot control the things that life does to us.

They are done before we know it, and once they are done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and the man you wanted to be.

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Sometimes a man can meet his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.

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… The system guarantees IBBC’s safety because everyone is involved …

… Hezbollah, the CIA, the Colombian drug traffickers, Russian organized crime, governments of China, Iran, U.S., every multinational corporation, everyone.

They all need banks like IBBC so they can operate within the black and grey latitudes.

This is why your investigative efforts have been ignored or undermined”

The International



May’s Day

“No one should underestimate [Theresa] May.

Like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has proved her mettle in successive crises, May has all the tools she needs to get things done.

She is clever and tough, with little patience for nonsense.

She has a strong sense of public service, and an equally strong set of values.

She carries little ideological baggage, and is adept at staying in control, operating within self-imposed boundaries that keep her on familiar terrain.

May wins most of the battles she fights, and shows little mercy to those who have used underhanded tactics against her.

Yet she has few known enemies within her party and is popular with its rank and file.

It is a robust combination – one that she will need to use fully as she attempts to lead Britain out of the EU.”




How can the individual survive?

The society of organizations demands of the individual decisions regarding himself.

At first sight, the decision may appear only to concern career and livelihood.

“What shall I do?”

is the form in which the question is usually asked.

But actually it reflects a demand that the individual take responsibility for society and its institutions.

What cause do I want to serve?” is implied.

Josh Abrams → allocating one’s life

And underlying this question is the demand the individual take responsibility for himself.

What shall I do with myself?” rather than “'What shall I do?”

is really being asked of the young by the multitude of choices around them.

The society of organizations forces the individual to ask of himself:

“Who am I?”

“What do I want to be?”

“What do I want to put into life and what do I want to get out of it?”” in context




Entrepreneurship is “risky” mainly because so few of the so-called entrepreneurs know what they are doing.



The individual in entrepreneurial society

Notes on entrepreneurial activities and destabilizer

… “They can no longer assume that what they have learned as children and youngsters will be the “foundation” for the rest of their lives.

It will be the “launching pad”—the place to take off from rather than the place to build on and to rest on.

They can no longer assume that they “enter upon a career” which then proceeds along a pre-determined, well-mapped and well-lighted “career path” to a known destination—what the American military calls “progressing in grade.””

The assumption from now on has to be that individuals on their own will have to find, determine, and develop a number of “careers” during their working lives. (calendarize this?) See Josh Abrams story

And the more highly schooled the individuals, the more entrepreneurial their careers and the more demanding their learning challenges. (calendarize this?) continue

Learning to learn


Successful careerS are not planned continue


“The stepladder is gone, and
there’s not even the implied structure
of an industry’s rope ladder.

It’s more like vines …


and you bring your own machete.

You don’t know
what you’ll be doing next

Managing in a Time of Great Change


“You can’t design your life around a
temporary organization”
— Peter Drucker


Peter DruckerMy 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?)




The Essential Drucker

The linked page above ↑ contains links to additional pages exploring many of the topics below

Introduction: The Origin and Purpose of TED

Where do I begin to read Drucker?


Management as Social Function and Liberal Art

The Dimensions of Management

The Purpose and Objectives of a Business

The profit motive and its offspring maximization of profits are just as irrelevant to the function of a business, the purpose of a business, and the job of managing a business.

In fact, the concept is worse than irrelevant: it does harm.

Actually, a company can make a social contribution only if it is highly profitable.

What the Nonprofits Are Teaching Business

Social Impacts and Social Problems

Management’s New Paradigms

The Information Executives Need Today

Management by Objectives and Self-Control

Picking People—The Basic Rules

The following three chapters are from Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Entrepreneurial Business

The New Venture

Entrepreneurial Strategies


Effectiveness Must Be Learned

Focus on Contribution

Know Your Strengths and Values

For knowledge workers, How do I perform? may be an even more important question than What are my strengths?

Know Your Time

Effective Decisions

Functioning Communications

Leadership as Work

Principles of Innovation

The Second Half of Your Life

The Educated Personhere and here


A Century of Social Transformation — Emergence of Knowledge Society

The priority tasks

The Coming of Entrepreneurial Society

Citizenship through the Social Sector ← a top of the food chain mental landscape

Good intentions ↑ aren’t enough.

You have to define the results you’re after.

There has been a huge expansion in the number of nonprofits and charitable organizations the past several years.

A lot of people want to put their resources to work where they can do the most good.

Unfortunately, as Peter noted, many of them get poor results — or no results.

“The problem,” he said, “is that they don’t ask about results, and they don’t know what results they want in the first place.

They mean well, and they have the best of intentions, but the only thing good intentions are for (as the old maxim says) is to pave the road to hell.”

The best results are achieved, he said, when people ask the right questions and then partner with others who have the expertise, knowledge, and discipline to get the right results. See network society below.

How to guarantee non-performance

Managing the Non-Profit Organization

Creating Tomorrow’s Society Of Citizens and Refining the Mission Statement

You have vital judgments ahead: whether to change the mission, whether to abandon programs that have outlived their usefulness and concentrate resources elsewhere, how to match opportunities with your competence and commitment, how you will build community and change lives.

Self-assessment is the first action requirement of leadership: the constant re-sharpening, constant refocusing, never being really satisfied.

And the time to do this is when you are successful.

If you wait until things start to go down, then it’s very difficult.

Management and Entrepreneurship in the Public-Service Institution

Managing Service Institutions in the Society of Organization

Managing Public-Service Institutions For Performance

and Entrepreneurship in the Public-Service Institution

From Analysis to Perception—The New Worldview.

Afterword: The Challenge Ahead

The paradox of rapidly expanding economy and growing income inequality—the paradox that bedevils us now

Growing health care and education, possibly a shrinking market for goods and services

Center of power shifting to the consumer—free flow of information

Knowledge workers—expensive resource

Governments depending on managers and individuals



Managing Service Institutions in the Society of Organizations

Entrepreneurship in the Public-Service Institution


“Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”




Josh Abrams: Allocating one’s life (the second half)

Additional life allocation horizons ↓

Specific topics

Some timescape vistas …

bbx The First Technological Revolution and its Lessons


bbx Technology (more than you might think)

bbx Up to Poverty — the agents of revolution

bbx The Vanishing East — the end of the European power system

bbx The Manager and the Moron

bbx Luther, Machiavelli, and the Salmon

bbx The New PluralismLandmarks of Tomorrow ::: Frontiers of Management ::: Foundational books → the need for a political and social theory

bbx Trade lessons from the world economy

No More Superpower → “Because of the emergence of the transnational company and of the symbol economy as the determinant force in the world market, there is no more economic superpower.

No matter how big, powerful, and productive a country may be, it competes every day for its world market position.

No one country can, in fact, expect long to maintain a competitive lead in technology, in management, in innovation, in design, in entrepreneurship; but it does not matter much to the transnational company which country is in the lead.

It does business in all of them and is at home in all of them.

However, the individual company too can no longer take its leadership position for granted.

There is no more “superpower” in industry, either; there are only competitors.

A company’s home country becomes a “location,” that is a headquarters and communications center.

But in any one industry there are a number of companies — some American, some German, some British, some Japanese — which together are the “superpowers” in that industry worldwide.

Managers need increasingly to base business policy on this new transnational structure of industry and markets” … see from Analysis to Perception — The New Worldview below ↓

bbx From Analysis to Perception — The New Worldview

bbx Citizenship through the social sector

bbx Knowledge and Technology

bbx What Needs to Be Done?

bbx Adventures of a Bystander

bbx The Unfashionable Kierkegaard

bbx Mission

bbx Good for what?

bbx Ten Principles for Life II

bbx The Wisdom of Peter Drucker

bbx The World is Full of Options

bbx My life as a knowledge worker

bbx Peter's Principles — Harriet Rubin → “no human being has built a better brand by just managing himself”

bbx Interview: Post-Capitalist Executive

bbx Interview: Managing in a Post Capitalist Society

bbx Management Challenges for the 21st Century

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.

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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.

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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. continue

❡ ❡ ❡

bbx The actual results of action are not predictable.

Indeed, if there is one rule for action, and especially for institutional action, it is that the expected results will not be attained.

The unexpected is practically certain.

But are the unexpected results deleterious? Read more

bbx The future that has already happened

bbx The unexpected success

bbx Management Challenges for the 21st Century

bbx Introduction

Those who do work on these challenges today, and thus prepare themselves and their institutions for the new challenges, will be the leaders and dominate tomorrow.

Those who wait until these challenges have indeed become “hot” issues are likely to fall behind, perhaps never to recover.

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These challenges are not arising out of today.

… snip, snip …

In most cases they are at odds and incompatible with what is accepted and successful today.

We live in a period of PROFOUND TRANSITION and the changes are more radical perhaps than even those that ushered in the “Second Industrial Revolution” of the middle of the 19th century, or the structural changes triggered by the Great Depression and the Second World War.

… snip, snip …

For in many cases— … — the new realities and their demands require a REVERSAL of policies that have worked well for the last century and, even more, a change in the MINDSET of organizations as well as of individuals.

bbx Management’s new paradigms (below)

bbx Strategy: The new certainties

bbx Introduction Why Strategy?

bbx The Collapsing Birthrate

bbx The Distribution of Income

Industries, whether businesses or nonbusinesses, have to be managed differently depending on whether they are growth industries, mature industries or declining industries

… snip, snip …

In conclusion, institutions—businesses as well as nonbusinesses—will have to learn to base their strategy on their knowledge of, and adaptation to, the trends in the distribution of disposable income and, above all, to any shifts in this distribution. And they need both quantitative information and qualitative analysis.

bbx Defining Performance

bbx Global Competitiveness

Competition on the roadS ahead: … “One consequence of this is that every business must become globally competitive, even if it manufactures or sells only within a local or regional market. The competition is not local anymore—in fact, it knows no boundaries. Every company has to become transnational in the way it is run. … But in e-commerce there are neither local companies nor distinct geographies. Where to manufacture, where to sell, and how to sell will remain important business decisions. But in another twenty years they may no longer determine what a company does, how it does it, and where it does it” … source

All institutions have to make global competitiveness a strategic goal.

No institution, whether a business, a university or a hospital, can hope to survive, let alone to succeed, unless it measures up to the standards set by the leaders in its field, anyplace in the world.

One implication: It is no longer possible to base a business or a country’s economic development on cheap labor.

However low its wages, a business—except for the smallest and most purely local one, for example, a local restaurant—is unlikely to survive, let alone to prosper, unless its workforce rapidly attains the productivity of the leaders of the industry anyplace in the world.

This is true particularly in manufacturing.

For in most manufacturing industries of the developed world the cost of manual labor is rapidly becoming a smaller and smaller factor—one-eighth of total costs or less.

Low labor productivity endangers a company’s survival.

But low labor costs no longer give enough of a cost advantage to offset low labor productivity.

This (as already said in Chapter One) also means that the economic development model of the 20th century—the model first developed by Japan after 1955 and then successfully copied by South Korea and Thailand—no longer works.

Despite their enormous surplus of young people qualified only for unskilled manual work, emerging countries from now on will have to base growth either on technological leadership (as did the United States and Germany in the second half of the 19th century), or on productivity equal to that of the world leaders in a given industry, if not on themselves becoming the world’s productivity leaders.

The same is true for all areas: Design, Marketing, Finance, Innovation—that is, for management altogether.

Performance below the world’s highest standards stunts, even if the costs are very low and even if government subsidies are very high.

And “Protection” no longer protects, no matter how high the custom duties or how low the import quotas.

Still, in all likelihood, we face a protectionist wave throughout the world in the next few decades.

For the first reaction to a period of turbulence is to try to build a wall that shields one’s own garden from the cold winds outside.

But such walls no longer protect institutions—and especially businesses—that do not perform up to world standards.

It will only make them more vulnerable.

The best example is Mexico, which for fifty years from 1929 on had a deliberate policy of building its domestic economy independent of the outside world.

It did this not only by building high walls of protectionism to keep foreign competition out.

it did it—and this was uniquely Mexican in the 20th century world—by practically forbidding its own companies to export.

This attempt to create a modern but purely Mexican economy failed dismally.

Mexico actually became increasingly dependent on imports, both of food and of manufactured products, from the outside world.

It was finally forced to open itself to the outside world, since it simply could no longer pay for the needed imports.

And then Mexico found that a good deal of its industry could not survive.

Similarly, the Japanese tried to protect the bulk of their business and industry by keeping the foreigners out while creating a small but exceedingly competitive number of export industries—and then providing these industries with capital at very low or no cost, thus giving them a tremendous competitive advantage.

That policy too has failed.

The present (1999) crisis in Japan is in large part the result of the failure to make the bulk of Japanese business and industry (and especially its financial industries) globally competitive.

Strategy, therefore, has to accept a new fundamental.

Any institution—and not just businesses—has to measure itself against the standards set by each industry’s leaders anyplace in the world.

bbx The Growing Incongruence Between Economic Reality and Political Reality

bbx The change leader

sr One cannot manage change

“One can only be ahead of it.

We do not hear much anymore about “overcoming resistance to change,” which ten or fifteen years ago was one of the most popular topics of management books and management seminars.

Everybody has accepted by now that “change is unavoidable.”

But this still implies that change is like “death and taxes”: It should be postponed as long as possible, and no change would be vastly preferable.

But in a period of upheavals, such as the one we are living in, change is the norm.

To be sure, it is painful and risky, and above all it requires a great deal of very hard work.

But unless it is seen as the task of the organization to lead change, the organization whether business, university, hospital and so on will not survive.

In a period of rapid structural change, the only ones who survive are the Change Leaders.

It is therefore a central 21st-century challenge for management that its organization become a change leader.

A change leader sees change as opportunity.

A change leader looks for change, knows how to find the right changes and knows how to make them effective both outside the organization and inside

bbx Change policies

sb Organized abandonment

bbx Organized improvement

bbx Exploiting success

Reports and meetings ::: staffing opportunities

bbx Creating change

The last policy for the change leader to build into the enterprise is a systematic policy of INNOVATION, that is, a policy to create change.

It is the area to which most attention is being given today.

It may, however, not be the most important one—organized abandonment, improvement, exploiting success may be more productive for a good many enterprises.

And without these policies—abandonment, improvement, exploitation—no organization can hope to be a successful innovator.

But to be a successful change leader an enterprise has to have a policy of systematic innovation.

And the main reason may not even be that change leaders need to innovate—though they do.

The main reason is that a policy of systematic innovation produces the mindset for an organization to be a change leader.

It makes the entire organization see change as an opportunity.

bbx Windows of opportunity

  • Unexpected successes ::: unexpected failures ::: unexpected events
  • Incongruities
  • Process needs
  • Changes in industry and market structures
  • Changes in demographics
  • Changes in meaning and perception
  • New knowledge

This requires a systematic policy to look, every six to twelve months, for changes that might be opportunities

The unexpected success was Drucker’s favorite

… but if innovation is based on exploiting what has already happened—in the enterprise itself, in its markets, in knowledge, in society, in demographics and so on—it is far less risky

And this work should be organized as a regular part of every unit within the enterprise, and of every level of management.

Important to harvest and apply Dense reading and Dense listening and Thinking broad and Thinking detailed

bbx What not to do

bbx Piloting

bbx The change leader’s two budgets

bbx Change and continuity

bbx Making the future

“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.

See these

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?)

Making the future II

“The twenty-first century will surely be one of continuing social, economic, and political turmoil and challenge, at least in its early decades.

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” — A Century of Social Transformation

bbx Information challenges

bbx Knowledge worker productivity

bbx Managing oneself (a revolution in human affairs)

bbx Managing in the Next Society



bbx Beyond the Information Revolution

bbx The Exploding World of the Internet

bbx From Computer Literacy to Information Literacy

bbx E-Commerce: The Central Challenge

bbx The New Economy Isn’t Here Yet

bbx The CEO in the New Millennium


bbx Entrepreneurs and Innovation

bbx They’re Not Employees, They’re People

bbx Financial Services: Innovate or Die

bbx Moving Beyond Capitalism?


bbx The Rise of the Great Institutions

bbx The Global Economy and the Nation-State

bbx It’s the Society, Stupid

bbx On Civilizing the City


bbx The Next Society

bbx The New Demographics

bbx The New Workforce

bbx The Manufacturing Paradox

bbx Will the Corporation Survive?

bbx The Future of Top Management

bbx The Way Ahead

bbx The Effective Executive

To be reasonably effective it is not enough for the individual to be intelligent, to work hard or to be knowledgeable.

Effectiveness is something separate, something different.



“Men of high effectiveness are conspicuous by their absence in executive jobs.

High intelligence is common enough among executives.

Imagination is far from rare.

The level of knowledge tends to be high.

But there seems to be little correlation between a man’s effectiveness and his intelligence, his imagination, or his knowledge.

Brilliant men are often strikingly ineffectual; they fail to realize that the brilliant insight is not by itself achievement.

They never have learned that insights become effectiveness only through hard systematic work.

Conversely, in every organization there are some highly effective plodders.

While others rush around in the frenzy and busyness which very bright people so often confuse with ‘creativity,’ the plodder puts one foot in front of the other and gets there first, like the tortoise in the old fable.”



“Follow effective action with quiet reflection.

From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” — Peter Drucker



“Success always obsoletes the very behavior that achieved it.

It always creates new realities.

It always creates, above all, its own and different problems …” continue



“The last twenty years have been very unsettling.

Executives really don’t understand the world they live in” — PFD Forbes


bbx What Makes An Effective Executive?

… a brief introduction from Peter F. Drucker’s work

An effective executive does not need to be a leader in the sense that the term is now most commonly used.

Harry Truman did not have one ounce of charisma, for example, yet he was among the most effective chief executives in US. history.

Similarly, some of the best business and nonprofit CEOs I’ve worked with over a 65-year consulting career were not stereotypical leaders.

They were all over the map in terms of their personalities, attitudes, values, strengths, and weaknesses.

They ranged from extroverted to nearly reclusive, from easy-going to controlling, from generous to parsimonious.

What made them all effective is that they followed the same eight practices:

1. They asked, “What needs to be done?

sidebar ↓

“I’ve seen a great many people who are exceedingly good at execution, but exceedingly poor at picking the important things.

They are magnificent at getting the unimportant things done.

They have an impressive record of achievement on trivial matters” — PFD

main brainroad continues ↓

The answer to the question “What needs to be done?” almost always contains more than one urgent task.

But effective executives do not splinter themselves.

They concentrate on one task if at all possible.

If they are among those people—a sizable minority—who work best with a change of pace in their working day, they pick two tasks.

I have never encountered an executive who remains effective while tackling more than two tasks at a time.

Hence, after asking what needs to be done, the effective executive sets priorities and sticks to them.

For a CEO, the priority task might be redefining the company’s mission.

For a unit head, it might be redefining the unit’s relationship with headquarters.

Other tasks, no matter how important or appealing, are postponed.

However, after completing the original top-priority task, the executive resets priorities rather than moving on to number two from the original list.

He asks, “What must be done now?”

This generally results in new and different priorities.

… But Welch also thought through another issue before deciding where to concentrate his efforts for the next five years.

He asked himself which of the two or three tasks at the top of the list he himself was best suited to undertake.

Then he concentrated on that task; the others he delegated.

Effective executives try to focus on jobs they’ll do especially well.

They know that enterprises perform if top management performs—and don’t if it doesn’t.

2. They asked, “What is right for the enterprise?”

Effective executives’ second practice—fully as important as the first—is to ask, “Is this the right thing for the enterprise?”

They do not ask if it’s right for the owners, the stock price, the employees, or the executives.

Of course they know that shareholders, employees, and executives are important constituencies who have to support a decision, or at least acquiesce in it, if the choice is to be effective.

They know that the share price is important not only for the shareholders but also for the enterprise, since the price/earnings ratio sets the cost of capital.

But they also know that a decision that isn’t right for the enterprise will ultimately not be right for any of the stakeholders.

3. They developed action plans.

4. They took responsibility for decisions.

People decisions — the true control of an organization

5. They took responsibility for communicating.

6. They were focused on opportunities rather than problems.

7. They ran productive meetings.

8. They thought and said “we” rather than “I.”

The first two practices gave them the knowledge they needed.

The next four helped them convert this knowledge into effective action.

The last two ensured that the whole organization felt responsible and accountable.

We’ve just reviewed eight practices of effective executives.

I’m going to throw in one final, bonus practice.

This one’s so important that I’ll elevate it to the level of a rule: Listen first, speak last.

bbx Managing the Non-Profit Organization and part-one summary

Beware of good intentions

bbx Managing Service Institutions in the Society of Organizations

bbx Entrepreneurship in the Public-Service Institution

bbx How to guarantee nonperformance

bbx What results should you expect? — a user’s guide to MBO

bbx Organization actions: creating change to abandonment


Job-holder horizons

StrengthsFinder 2.0

Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It by Marshall Goldsmith

How to Win Friends & Influence People

Winning: The Answers





Management Worldviews


“None of our institutions exists by itself and is an end in itself,” he wrote in his book Management — Revised Edition.

Find → “The CEO in the New Millennium” here

“Every one is an organ of society and exists for the sake of society.

Business is no exception.

Free enterprise cannot be justified as being good for business; it can be justified only as being good for society.” continue



Management and Economic Development

“Management creates economic and social development.

Economic and social development is the result of management.

It can be said, without too much oversimplification, that there are no “underdeveloped countries.”

There are only “undermanaged” ones.

This means that management is the prime mover and that development is a consequence.

All our experience in economic development proves this.

Wherever we have only capital, we have not achieved development.

In the few cases where we have been able to generate management energies, we have generated rapid development.

Development, in other words, is a matter of human energies rather than of economic wealth.

And the generation and direction of human energies is THE task of management.” continue

Feb 20 — The Daily Drucker



“Management, in most business schools, is still taught as a bundle of techniques, such as the technique of budgeting.

To be sure, management, like any other work, has its own tools and its own techniques.

But just as the essence of medicine is not the urinalysis, important though it is, the essence of management is not techniques and procedures.

The essence of management is to make knowledge productive.

Management, in other words, is a social function.

And in its practice, management is truly a “liberal art.”” different view



The Management Revolution

From Post-Capitalist Society — “When I decided …”

“The change in the meaning of knowledge that began two hundred fifty years ago has transformed society and economy.

Formal knowledge is seen as both the key personal and the key economic resource.

In fact, knowledge is the only meaningful resource today.

The traditional “factors of production” — land (i. e., natural resources), labor, and capital — have not disappeared, but they have become secondary.

They can be obtained and obtained easily, provided there is knowledge.

And knowledge in this new sense means knowledge as a utility, knowledge as the means to obtain social and economic results.

❡ ❡ ❡

These developments, whether desirable or not, are responses to an irreversible change: knowledge is now being applied to knowledge.

This is the third and perhaps the ultimate step in the transformation of knowledge.

Supplying knowledge to find out how existing knowledge can best be applied to produce results is, in effect, what we mean by management.

But knowledge is now also being applied systematically and purposefully to define what new knowledge is needed, whether it is feasible, and what has to be done to make knowledge effective.

It is being applied, in other words, to systematic innovation

❡ ❡ ❡

This third change in the dynamics of knowledge can be called the “Management Revolution.”

Like its two predecessors — knowledge applied to tools, processes, and products, and knowledge applied to human work — the Management Revolution has swept the earth.

It took a hundred years, from the middle of the eighteenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century, for the Industrial Revolution to become dominant and worldwide.

It took some seventy years, from 1880 to the end of World War II, for the Productivity Revolution to become dominant and world-wide.

It has taken less than fifty years—from 1945 to 1990—for the Management Revolution to become dominant and worldwide.

❡ ❡ ❡

Most people when they hear the word “management” still hear “business management.”

Management did indeed first emerge in its present form in large-scale business organizations.

When I began to work on management some fifty years ago, I too concentrated on business management

But we soon learned that management is needed in all modern organizations

In fact, we soon learned that it is needed even more in organizations that are not businesses, whether not-for-profit but non-governmental organizations (what in this book I propose we call the “social sector”) or government agencies.

These organizations need management the most precisely because they lack the discipline of the “bottom line” under which business operates.


That management is not confined to business was recognized first in the United States.

But it is now becoming accepted in every developed country.

❡ ❡ ❡

We now know that management is a generic function of all organizations, whatever their specific mission.

It is the generic organ of the knowledge society.

❡ ❡ ❡

Management has been around for a very long time.

I am often asked whom I consider the best or the greatest executive.

My answer is always: “The man who conceived, designed, and built the first Egyptian Pyramid more than four thousand years ago—and it still stands.”

But management as a specific kind of work was not seen until after World War I—and then by just a handful of people.

Management as a discipline only emerged after World War II.

As late as 1950, when the World Bank began to lend money for economic development, the word “management” was not even in its vocabulary.

In fact, while management was invented thousands of years ago, it was not discovered until after World War II.

❡ ❡ ❡

One reason for its discovery was the experience of World War II itself, and especially the performance of American industry.

But perhaps equally important to the general acceptance of management has been the performance of Japan since 1950.

Japan was not an “underdeveloped” country after World War II but its industry and economy were almost totally destroyed, and it had practically no domestic technology.

The nation’s main resource was its willingness to adopt and adapt the management which the Americans had developed during World War II (and especially training).

Within twenty years—from the 1950s, when the American occupation of Japan ended, to the 1970s—Japan became the world’s second economic power, and a leader in technology.

When the Korean War ended in the early 1950s, South Korea was left even more devastated than Japan had been seven years earlier.

And it had never been anything but a backward country, especially as the Japanese systematically suppressed Korean enterprise and higher education during their thirty-five years of occupation.

But by using the colleges and universities of the United States to educate their able young people, and by importing and applying the concepts of management, Korea became a highly developed country within twenty-five years.

❡ ❡ ❡

With this powerful expansion of management came a growing understanding of what management really means.

When I first began to study management, during and immediately after World War II, a manager was defined as “someone who is responsible for the work of subordinates.”

A manager in other words was a “boss,” and management was rank and power.

This is probably still the definition a good many people have in mind when they speak of “managers” and “management.”

❡ ❡ ❡

But by the early 1950s, the definition of a manager had already changed to one who “is responsible for the performance of people.”

Today, we know that that is also too narrow a definition.

The right definition of a manager is one who “is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge.”

❡ ❡ ❡

This change means that we now see knowledge as the essential resource.

Land, labor, and capital are important chiefly as restraints.

Without them, even knowledge cannot produce; with out them, even management cannot perform.

But where there is effective management, that is, application of knowledge to knowledge, we can always obtain the other resources.

❡ ❡ ❡

That knowledge has become the resource, rather than a resource, is what makes our society “post-capitalist.”

This fact changes—fundamentally—the structure of society.

It creates new social and economic dynamics.

It creates new politics.”

See about management



“75%+ of U.S. board members & execs worry that management sets strategy with stale assumptions” — Twitter



Five deadly sins

1. Worship of high profit margins and of “premium pricing.”

2. Mispricing a new product by charging “what the market will bear.”

3. Cost-driven pricing

4. Slaughtering tomorrow’s opportunity on the altar of yesterday.

5. Feeding problems and starving opportunities. continue



Conditions for survival

… It should have been obvious from the beginning that management and entrepreneurship are only two different dimensions of the same task. continue

… snip, snip …

Every institution—and not only business—must build into its day-to-day management four entrepreneurial activities that run in parallel.

Organization efforts ::: Problems or Opportunities?


1. One is the organized abandonment of products, services, processes, markets, distribution channels and so on that are no longer an optimal allocation of resources.

sidebar ↓

… “But if it is known throughout the organization that the dead will be left to bury their dead, then the living will be willing—indeed, eager—to go to work on innovation.” more on abandonment

main brainroad continues ↓

This is the first entrepreneurial discipline in any given situation.


2. Then any institution must organize for systematic, continuing improvement (what the Japanese call kaizen).


3. Then it has to organize for systematic and continuous exploitation, especially of its successes.

It has to build a different tomorrow on a proven today.


4. And, finally, it has to organize systematic innovation, that is, to create the different tomorrow that makes obsolete and, to a large extent, replaces even the most successful products of today in any organization.


Innovation in the existing organization requires special effort


Network society


More on marketing and innovation

… snip, snip …

… “But unless it is seen as the task of the organization to lead change, the organization whether business, university, hospital and so on will not survive.” more on the change leader

… snip, snip …

… “But the tools we originally fashioned to bring the outside to the inside have all been penetrated by the inside focus of management.

They have turned into tools to enable management to ignore the outside.

Even worse, they are used to make management believe it can manipulate the outside and turn it to the organization’s purpose.” more on this topic


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



“Executives of any large organization—whether business enterprise, Roman Catholic diocese, university, health care institution, government agency—are woefully ignorant of the outside, as everybody knows who has worked with decisions in a large organization” continue



“Success always obsoletes the very behavior that achieved it.

It always creates new realities.

It always creates, above all, its own and different problems …” continue



“The customer never buys what you think you sell.

And you don’t know it.

That’s why it’s so difficult to differentiate yourself.”


“People in any organization are always attached to the obsolete—the things that should have worked but did not, the things that once were productive and no longer are.” Druckerism



Concentration is the key to economic results. No other principles of effectiveness is violated as constantly today as the basic principle of concentration.



Businesses that go unchallenged for long decades are rare exceptions.

The great majority, no matter how successful, need to think through their basic assumptions much sooner.

The great majority, moreover, then find it almost impossible to change.

The business which, after ten years of continuing success, retains the capacity to change and to maintain its effectiveness, is in the minority.

It may not disappear, but it is likely to become an ‘also ran’ and to fall way behind.

The American magazine Fortune has for more than forty years published each year a list of the 500 top manufacturing companies in the US.

During these forty years, one-third of the companies in the original list have disappeared from it altogether — either because they have been liquidated or merged or because they have become insignificant.

Another third has lost position in the list, that is, has dropped from being a major to become a relatively minor business.

Only one-third have maintained themselves in the list, that is, in their position in the American economy.

Every one of these companies that has been able to prosper for four decades has had to change fundamentally.

Yet, the last forty years have been years of great continuity and, generally, years of tremendous prosperity, not only in the American economy but in the world economy.

What is needed is not only the capacity to overcome adversity.

Equally important, and equally needed, is the capacity to take advantage of opportunity, and this, too, is equally threatened by continuing success, threatened by complacency. continue



Financial results are not the purpose

Mission statements that express the purpose of the enterprise in financial terms fail inevitably, to create the cohesion, the dedication, the vision of the people who have to do the work so as to realize the enterprise’s goal.

An old saying — going back to ancient Rome, I believe states that ‘Human beings eat to live, but do not live to eat.’

Similarly, enterprises have to have satisfactory financial results to live; without them they cannot survive and cannot, in fact, do their job.

However, they do not exist to have financial results.

Financial results, by themselves, are not adequate, are not the purpose of the enterprise, and are not the justification and reason for its existence. continue



“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. They no longer fit reality.”Management’s New Paradigm



Despite all the outpouring of management writing these last twenty-five years, the world of management is still little-explored.

It is a world of issues, but also a world of people.

And it is undergoing rapid change right now.



These essays explore a wide variety of topics.

They deal with changes in the work force, its jobs, its expectations, with the power relationships of a “society of employees,” and with changes in technology and in the world economy.

They discuss the problems and challenges facing major institutions, including business enterprises, schools, hospitals, and government agencies.

They look anew at the tasks and work of executives, at their performance and its measurement and at executive compensation.

However diverse the topics, all the pieces reflect upon the same reality: In all developed countries the workaday world has become a “society of organizations” and thus dependent on executives, that is on people—whether called managers or administrators—who are paid to direct organizations and to make them perform.

These chapters have one common theme: the changing world of the executive

changing rapidly within the organization;

changing rapidly in respect to the visions, aspirations, and even characteristics of employees, customers, and constituents;

changing outside the organization as well—economically, technologically, socially, politically.

The Changing World of The Executive




Return to top

Knowledge Economy and Knowledge Polity


Conditions for survival

knowledge technology

Knowledge technology

More on the modern chaos ↑ ↓


Knowledge and Technology

Now we are increasingly organizing knowledge and the search for it around areas of application rather than around the subject areas of disciplines.

Interdisciplinary work has grown everywhere.

This is a symptom of the shift in the meaning of knowledge from an end in itself to a resource, that is, a means to some result.

Research Laboratory: Obsolete?

Now many research directors, as well as high-tech industrialists, tend to believe that such labs are becoming obsolete. Why?

Technologies crisscross industries and travel incredibly fast, making few of them unique anymore.

And increasingly, the knowledge needed in a given industry comes out of some totally different technology with which, very often, the people in the industry are quite unfamiliar.

Technologies And End-Users Are Fixed And Given

Now the assumption to start with is that the technologies that are likely to have the greatest impact on a company and an industry are technologies outside its own field.

Therefore, management now has to start out with the assumption that there is no one technology that pertains to an industry and that, on the contrary, all technologies are capable—and indeed likely—to be of major importance to any industry and to have impact on any industry.

Similarly, management has to start with the assumption that there is no one given end-use for any product or service and that, conversely, no end-use is going to be linked solely to any one product or service.

And then there is the new “basic resource” information.

It differs radically from all other commodities in that it does not stand under the scarcity theorem.

On the contrary, it stands under an abundance theorem

If I sell a thing, e.g., a book, I no longer have the book. If I impart information I still have it and can sell it again and again. What this means for economics is well beyond the scope of this paper—though it is clear that it will force us radically to revise basic economic theory.

But economics aside, managements had better understand what this means to them. Information does not pertain to any specific industry or business. Information also does not have any one end-use nor does any one end-use require a particular kind of information

One implication of this is that noncustomers are as important as customers, if not more important: because they are potential customers. There are very few institutions which supply as large a portion of a market as 30%. In other words, there are very few institutions where the noncustomers do not amount to at least 70% of the potential market. And yet very few institutions know anything about the noncustomers—very few of them even know that they exist, let alone know who they are. And even fewer know why they are not customers. Yet it is with the noncustomers that changes always start.

… The foundations have to be customer values and customer decisions on the distribution of their disposable income. It is with those that management policy and management strategy increasingly will have to start

New Knowledge

New knowledge is not the most reliable or most predictable source of successful innovations.

For all the visibility, glamour, and importance of science-based innovation, it is actually the least reliable and least predictable one.


evolution of refrigeration evolution of refrig

Successful careerS are not planned continue

Mission ::: Continuity and Change

sound players

October 16th, 2003 — “Hell Froze Over.” Apple launched – iTunes for Windows.
That opened up the iPod to the 97% of people who had PCs.
Their first iPods turned into their first iPhones
… switched to a Macintosh all together
… along the way Apple’s market cap climbed to
the most valuable company in the world …


The evolution ↓ of picture taking technologies →
From Film to Point-and-shoot to Smartphones

Successful careerS are not planned continue

picture tech picture tech

How useful would “guidance” from something with a Management Golf or Chaotics: The Business of Managing and Marketing in the Age of Turbulence thoughtscape be in the situations above ↑ — the evolution of refrigeration, the evolution of sound transportation, or the evolution of picture taking? Mike Kami’s world (Corporate or Strategic Planning)

Conditions for survival


The Divide

Even in the flattest landscape there are passes where the road first climbs to a peak and then descends into a new valley.

Most of these passes are only topography, with little or no difference in climate, language, or culture between the valleys on either side.

But some passes are different.

They are true divides.

They often are neither high nor spectacular.

The Brenner is the lowest and gentlest of the passes across the Alps; yet from earliest times it has marked the border between Mediterranean and Nordic cultures.

The Delaware Water Gap, some seventy miles west of New York City, is not even a real pass; yet it still divides Eastern seaboard and mid-America.

History, too, knows such divides.

They also tend to be unspectacular and are rarely much noticed at the time.

But once these divides have been crossed, the social and political landscape changes.

Social and political climate is different and so is social and political language.

There are new realities.

Some time between 1965 and 1973 we passed over such a divide and entered “the next century.”

We passed out of creeds, commitments, and alignments that had shaped politics for a century or two.

We are in political terra incognita with few familiar landmarks to guide us.

No one except a mere handful of Stalinists believes any more in salvation by society — the faith which since the eighteenth century’s Enlightenment had been the dominant force and main engine of politics.

But the one effective political counterforce is also spent: political integration in and through interest blocs.

It was America’s own contribution to the art and practice of politics, fashioned first by Mark Hanna at the very end of the last century and then perfected, forty years later, by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the New Deal.

The last of the colonial empires, Russia, has entered the final phase of decolonization.

Whatever succeeds, it is unlikely to be either “Russian” or “Empire.”

And after three hundred or more years in which armaments were “productive” and worked as instruments of policy, they have become “counterproductive”: an economic drain if not economically crippling; treacherous as a tool of politics; and—the most important and least expected change — impotent militarily.




Executive realities continue

The realities of the executive’s situation both demand effectiveness from him and make effectiveness exceedingly difficult to achieve.

Indeed, unless executives work at becoming effective, the realities of their situation will push them into futility.

tblue The executive’s time tends to belong to everybody else

tblue Executives are forced to keep on “operating” unless they take positive action

tblue Being within an “organization” pushes the executive toward ineffectiveness

tblue Finally, the executive is “within” an organization

People of high effectiveness are conspicuous by their absence in executive jobs continue




Return to top

Management creates economic development ↑ ↓ continue

How are you participating in this? ↓

The Competitive Knowledge Economy

Internet activity ↓ ::: ← → Form and function


Cities of the world


Seoul post Korean war ↓



Seoul in more recent years ↓



Shanghai post-WW II



Shanghai later ↓



Shanghai more recent ↓



Singapore back then ↓



Singapore more recent

Cosmopolis → an internationally important city
inhabited by many different peoples
reflecting a great variety of cultures, attitudes, etc.

The future of the central city



What has to happened ↓ to make people realize that the way the world works ↑ ↓ has changed and that different situations ↑ ↓ require new thinking and behavior?

A change in the way the world works



The Definitive DruckerLiving in a Lego™ World





Innovation requires abandonment

Innovation (a condition for survival) requires major effort.

It requires hard work on the part of performing, capable people — the scarcest resource in any organization.

“Nothing requires more heroic efforts than to keep a corpse from stinking, and yet nothing is quite so futile,” is an old medical proverb.

In almost any organization I have come across, the best people are engaged in this futile effort; yet all they can hope to accomplish is to delay acceptance of the inevitable a little longer and at great cost.

Organization efforts ::: Problems or Opportunities?

But if it is known throughout the organization that the dead will be left to bury their dead, then the living will be willing—indeed, eager—to go to work on innovation.

To allow it to innovate, a business has to be able to free its best performers for the challenges of innovation.

Equally it has to be able to devote financial resources to innovation.

It will not be able to do either unless it organizes itself to slough off alike the successes of the past, the failures, and especially the “near-misses,” the things that “should have worked” but didn’t.

If executives know that it is company policy to abandon, then they will be motivated to look for the new, to encourage entrepreneurship, and will accept the need to become entrepreneurial themselves.

This is the first step—a form of organizational hygiene.” about Innovation



“Increasingly, organizations will have to plan abandonment
rather than try to prolong the life
of a successful policy, practice, or product … only a few
large Japanese companies have faced up to”



“Effective innovations start small. They are not grandiose. They try to do one specific thing” continue




An Operational View of the Budgeting Process

The final conclusion is that we need a new approach to the process in which we make our value decisions between different objective areas—the budgeting process.

And in particular do we need a real understanding of that part of the budget that deals with the expenses that express these decisions, that is, the “managed” and “capital” expenditures.

Commonly today, budgeting is conceived as a financial process.

But it is only the notation that is financial; the decisions are entrepreneurial.

Commonly today, managed expenditures and capital expenditures are considered quite separate.

But the distinction is an accounting (and tax) fiction and misleading; both commit scarce resources to an uncertain future; both are, economically speaking, capital expenditures.

And they, too, have to express the same basic decisions on survival objectives to be viable.

Finally, today, most of our attention in the operating budget is given, as a rule, to other than the managed expenses, especially to the variable expenses, for that is where, historically, most money was spent.

But, no matter how large or small the sums, it is in our decisions on the managed expenses that we decide on the future of the enterprise.

Indeed, we have little control over what the accountant calls variable expenses—the expenses which relate directly to units of production and are fixed by a certain way of doing things.

We can change them, but not fast.

We can change a relationship between units of production and labor costs (which we, with a certain irony, still consider variable expenses despite the fringe benefits).

But within any time period these expenses can only be kept at a norm and cannot be changed.

This is, of course, even more true for the expenses in respect to the decisions of the past, our fixed expenses.

We cannot make them undone at all, whether these are capital expenses or taxes or what have you.

They are beyond our control.

In the middle, however, are the expenses for the future which express our risk-taking value choices: the capital expenses and the managed expenses.

Here are the expenses on facilities and equipment, on research and merchandising, on product development and people development, on management and organization.

This managed expense budget is the area in which we really make our decisions on our objectives.

(That, incidentally, is why I dislike accounting ratios in that area so very much, because they try to substitute the history of the dead past for the making of the prosperous future.)

We make decisions in this process in two respects.

First, what do we allocate people for?

For the money in the budget is really people.

What do we allocate people, and energy, and efforts to?

To what objectives?

We have to make choices, as we cannot do everything.

And, second, what is the time scale?

How do we, in other words, balance expenditures for long-term permanent efforts against any decision with immediate impact?

The one shows results only in the remote future, if at all.

The development of people (a fifteen-year job), the effectiveness of which is untested and unmeasurable, is, for instance, a decision on faith over the long range.

The other may show results immediately.

To slight the one, however, might, in the long range, debilitate the business and weaken it.

And, yet, there are certain real short-term needs that have to be met in the business—in the present as well as in the future.

Until we develop a clear understanding of basic survival objectives and some yardsticks for the decisions and choices in each area, budgeting will not become a rational exercise of responsible judgment; it will retain some of the hunch character that it now has.

But our experience has shown that the concept of survival objectives alone can greatly improve both the quality and effectiveness of the process and the understanding of what is being decided.

Indeed, it gives us, we are learning, an effective tool for the integration of functional work and specialized efforts and especially for creating a common understanding throughout the organization and common measurements of contribution and performance.

The approach to a discipline of business enterprise through an analysis of survival objectives is still a very new and a very crude one.

Yet it is already proving itself a unifying concept, simply because it is the first general theory of the business enterprise we have had so far.

It is not yet a very refined, a very elegant, let alone a very precise, theory.

Any physicist or mathematician would say: This is not a theory; this is still only rhetoric.

But at least, while maybe only in rhetoric, we are talking about something real.

For the first time we are no longer in the situation in which theory is irrelevant, if not an impediment, and in which practice has to be untheoretical, which means cannot be taught, cannot be learned, and cannot be conveyed, as one can only convey the general.

This should thus be one of the breakthrough areas; and twenty years hence this might well have become the central concept around which we can organize the mixture of knowledge, ignorance, and experience, of prejudices, insights, and skills, which we call “management” today. continue





… “But now the traditional axiom that an enterprise should aim for maximum integration has become almost entirely invalidated.

One reason is that the knowledge needed for any activity has become highly specialized.

It is therefore increasingly expensive, and also increasingly difficult, to maintain enough critical mass for every major task within an enterprise.

And because knowledge rapidly deteriorates unless it is used constantly, maintaining within an organization an activity that is used only intermittently guarantees incompetence” — Peter Drucker




It is impossible to work on things that aren't on your mental radar ↑ ↓



The main work-life related brainroadS ↓


The following ↓ is a condensed strategic brainscape that can be explored and modified to fit a user’s needs


The concepts and links below ↓ are …

major foundations ↓ for future directed decisionS

aimed at navigating

a world constantly moving toward unimagined futureS


YouTube: The History of the World in Two Hours
— beginning with the industrial revolution ↑ ↓


Take responsibility for yourself and
don’t depend on any one organization ↑ ↓ (bread-crumb trailS below)

We can only work on the thingS on our mental radar at a point in time

About time The future that has already happened


The economic and social health of our world
depends on
our capacity to navigate unimagined futureS
(and not be prisoners of the past)


The assumption that tomorrow is going to be
an extrapolation of yesterday sabotages the future — an
organization’s, a community’s and a nation’s future.

The assumption ↑ sabotages future generations — your children’s,
your grandchildren’s and your great grandchildren’s — in
spite of what the politicians say …

The vast majority of organization and political power structures
are engaged in this ↑ futile mind-set
while rationalizing the evidence


The future is unpredictable and that means
it ain’t going to be like today
(which was designed & produced yesterday)


The capacity to navigate is governed by what’s between our ears ↓




When we are involved in doing something ↑

it is extremely difficult to navigate

and very easy to become a prisoner of the past.


We need to maintain a pre-thought ↓

systematic approach to work and work approach

Click on either side of the image below to see a larger view

Harvest to action

Harvesting and implementing Work

based on reality

the non-linearity of time and events

and the unpredictability of the future

with its unimagined natureS. ↓ ↑


(It’s just a matter of time before we can’t get to the future
from where we are presently

larger view


Intelligence and behavior ↑ ↓ ← Niccolò Machiavelli ↑ ↓

Political ecologists believe that the traditional disciplines define fairly narrow and limited tools rather than meaningful and self-contained areas of knowledge, action, and eventscontinue

❡ ❡ ❡

Foundational ↑ Books → The Lessons of History — unfolding realities (The New Pluralism → in Landmarks of Tomorrow ::: in Frontiers of Management ::: How Can Government Function? ::: the need for a political and social theory ::: toward a theory of organizations and un-centralizing) ::: The Essential Drucker — your horizons? ::: Textbook of Wisdom — conceptual vision and imagination tools ::: The Daily Drucker — conceptual breadth ::: Management Cases (Revised Edition) see chapter titles for examples of “named” situations …


What do these ideas, concepts, horizons mean for me? continue



“Corporations once built to last like pyramids
are now more like tents.

Tomorrow they’re gone or in turmoil.”


“The failure to understand the nature, function, and
purpose of business enterprise” Chapter 9, Management Revised Edition

“The customer never buys ↑ what you think you sell.
And you don’t know it.

That’s why it’s so difficult to differentiate yourself.” Druckerism


“People in any organization are always attached to the obsolete
the things that should have worked but did not,
the things that once were productive and no longer are.” Druckerism


What Everybody Knows Is Frequently Wrong ::: If You Keep Doing What Worked in the Past You’re Going to Fail ::: Approach Problems with Your Ignorance—Not Your Experience ::: Develop Expertise Outside Your Field to Be an Effective Manager ::: Outstanding Performance Is Inconsistent with Fear of Failure ::: You Must Know Your People to Lead Them ::: People Have No Limits, Even After Failure ::: Base Your Strategy on the Situation, Not on a Formula — A Class With Drucker: The Lost Lessons of the World's Greatest Management Teacher


Why Peter Drucker Distrusted Facts (HBR blog) and here


Best people working on the wrong things continue


Conditions for survival


Going outside


Making the future — a chance for survival


“For what should America’s new owners, the pension funds,
hold corporate management accountable?” and
“Rather, they maximize the wealth-producing capacity of the enterprise”
Search for the quotes above here


Successful careerS are not planned ↑ here and


What do these issues, these challenges mean for me & … — an alternative


Exploration paths → The memo they don’t want you to see ::: Peter Drucker — top of the food chain ::: Work life foundations (links to Managing Oneself) ::: A century of social transformation ::: Post-capitalist executive ::: Allocating your life ::: What executives should remember ::: What makes an effective executive? ::: Innovation ::: Patriotism is not enough → citizenship is needed ::: Drucker’s “Time” and “Toward tomorrowS” books ::: Concepts (a WIP) ::: Site map a.k.a. brainscape, thoughtscape, timescape


Just reading ↑ is not enough, harvesting and action thinking are neededcontinue

Information ↑ is not enough, thinking ↓ is neededfirst then next + critical thinking


Larger view of thinking principles ↑ Text version ↑ :::
Always be constructiveWhat additional thinking is needed?


Initially and absolutely needed: the willingness and capacity to
regularly look outside of current mental involvements continue


door is the next stop on a linear exploration




Our futureS will play out in different ecologies ↓

Post-Capitalist Society  book  managing in the next society


Post-Capitalist Society link

Management Challenges for the 21st Century

Managing in the Next Society




Time-life navigation


The way I see it time-life navigation involves the navigation needed to make it from childhood to the final moments embedded in a world moving toward unimagined futures. The major elements might be conceptualized as:

Organization evolution

Career or worklife evolution

Life design

Financial investing

A life navigation system or action management system

Life-TIME investment system




“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

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

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “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.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving toward unimagined futures.

It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.

Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting point



To create a site search on Google’s site ↓

Type the following in the search box on the Google’s site:

your search text



What needs doing?





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