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brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns

Common misunderstandings

This page (section) needs work—more items and more clarity and guidance.

The list is long—how could it not be? (it is intertwined with real world evidence , mental patterns and new realities ):

  • The idea that college prepares people for a lifetime of effective work (compare college curriculums with real world knowledge and performance needs). Peter Drucker once said that "college is a passport to knowledge work."
  • Being promoted somehow confers new magical powers or capabilities. Capabilities are developed through special work -- not just experience. See two finger typist on Edward de Bono page. How do world-class athletes become that way and stay that way? Important
  • Defining a global economy in terms of importing and exporting. Think of a higher conceptual mountain!
  • Many CEOs and people seem to think they work for Wall Street and security analysts. Who is going to take responsibility for producing the goods and services for society? They don't see that management is a social function -- chapter 1 in The Essential Drucker.
  • Management (usually seen as being a boss, functional work, supervision of other people and buying other companies). It is generally assumed that years of experience acting a boss or CEO makes one a manager. What's the evidence that can be seen in the daily news? See The Essential Drucker, Chapter 1, "What is Management" and "Management as a Liberal Art."
  • Mission (See "A Sense of Discovery" Chapter 6: "Strategy as Stretch" in Competing for the Future by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad. Also see second paragraph under "A Commitment to Management" in Chapter 4: "What the Nonprofits are Teaching Business" in The Essential Drucker
  • Values. Whose? When related to products and services the question is usually framed from the providers point of view rather than the values in the customer's life and what would make a genuine contribution to that life.
  • Theory of the business, strategy, and organization. See Management Challenges for the 21st Century
  • Entrepreneurship (see chapter 1 in Innovation and Entrepreneurship).  (finding innovations to meet unmet needs)
  • Innovation and innovations. The success rate associated with bright ideas and creativity -- its terrible. See Chapter 10: "The Bright Idea" and section I of Chapter 11: "Principles of Innovation" in Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker. A change that creates a new dimension in performance.
  • Marketing (4 definitions)  Think about how these different approaches play out in time, place, and culture. 
  • Goals. Having goals may or may not be beneficial. They have to be the right goals -- goals that relate to the real world.
  • Growth is usually seen as growth in terms of physical volume. What's the evidence? I may fully document some helpful references in the future. For the time being see growth in indexes of: Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor, Peter Drucker's Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices and his work on alliances.
  • Profits and profitability (see PIMS) What are the social functions of profits and profitability? What is the typical profit rhetoric? What should it be? Clue: look at the changing social and economic picture and the structure of the economy diagrams, then see if you can figure out the social function of profits and profitability
  • Management consultants. There are several areas of major concern here. Where did the consultants get their mental patterns? Was it from studying "dinosaurs" or wide angle perception and thinking? What are they promoting? Is it just their flavor of the month? Is it really management or a technique/analytical tool -- the content of MBA programs?  See page 304 paperback Chapter 12: "Thinking Differently" in Competing for the Future by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad. How can any performer perform using someone else's mental patterns? You might want to check out the "confessions" in the management book reviews at Try "Adventures of a Bystander ." The comments that are part of Peter Drucker's bio are also enlightening. Don't put yourself in the position of needing a management consultant . You need to understand enough about management and the expanded ecology in which you exist, to know what management your organization will need in the future. The buddy system of learning management is dangerous and reckless -- there is no reason to believe that they know much about it. Remember the history associated with In Search of Excellence. A tested blue print is the alternative.
  • Misunderstanding the economic position of high tech and most of the nonsense about the new economy

These common misunderstandings lead to trouble and senior executives typically don't know how to respond -- see evidence . They haven't prepared themselves. They wait for trouble rather than anticipate a non-linear future. They underestimate what needs to be done. They assume that the action that lead to their previous success will be sufficient. They frequently either get pushed out of the organization or sidelined. They lose the fruits of their "prior work investments."Important See Peter Drucker on "Theory of the Business," "Permanent Cost Cutting," "The Five Deadly Business Sins," and Productivity.

These are not minor technical matters isolated within the organization. These misunderstanding misdirect our efforts and resources. These misunderstandings play a major role in resource deficits and lower the general standard of living.

Dealing with common misunderstandings should be in your strategic work plan.

Getting beyond these misunderstandings is a stage of organization evolution

Some thoughts from Warren Buffett -- another "view point" 


“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



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