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brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns


pyramid to dna


Calendarizing © SM is a verb I created.

A “grain of salt” will be needed


Calendarizing is about working something out in time
and having the next step on your calendar.

The actual results of action are not predictable


For example, what thinking and actionS would be necessary to calendarize
how to guarantee non-performance?


“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.” PFD read more


Everything that follows is essentially
an attention directing placeholder




An action system

Radar system ::: Calendarization ::: Conceptual resource digestion ::: Concepts to daily action

The secret office


History of The World In Two Hours


The Sweep of History and Thinking about Time Usage


Managing in the Next Society




Calendarizing involves creating a comprehensive
semi-dated action plan.

There are limits to precision

aeon timeline

Larger ::: Aeon Timeline

Calendarizing applies to an important, major broad topic and expresses your desire to direct your attention to that topic on a systematic, foolproof basis.

Topic thinking


brain topography

Because we live in an unfolding world it may not be entirely clear what the real broad topic is — finding out may be part of the calendarization.

If you ran across the following in a book or elsewhere, would you calendarize it? How?

… the center of a modern society, economy and community is not technology. It is not information. It is not productivity. The center of modern society is the managed institution. The managed institution is society’s way of getting things done these days. And management is the specific tool, the specific function, the specific instrument, to make institutions capable of producing results. The institution, in short, does not simply exist within and react to society. It exists to produce results on and in society. — Peter Drucker, Management’s New Paradigm

The 90/10 Rule at Yum! Brands

But every analysis of actual allocation of resources and efforts in business that I have ever seen or made showed clearly that the bulk of time, work, attention, and money first goes to ‘problems’ rather than to opportunities, and, secondly, to areas where even extraordinarily successful performance will have minimal impact on results. (calendarize this?)

One of the hardest things for a manager to remember is that of the 1,000 different situations he or she will be asked to deal with on any given day, only the smallest handful have a shot at moving the enterprise forward in a truly significant way (calendarize this?)

The job of management, then, is to make sure that financial capital, technology, and top talent are deployed where most of the results are and where most of the costs aren’t. The temptation often exists, however, to do exactly the opposite

See chapter 10, The Bright Idea (the riskiest and least successful source of innovative opportunities) in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Post-capitalist society ::: the transformation

Before jumping off into the deep end, it would be a really, really good idea to have read through Peter Drucker’s life and career guidance topics. What you harvest from these should help shape your calendarization needs.



You first add the topic to your master radar list and then make a calendar appointment with yourself to begin work on that topic.

Larger view

That first appointment may involve including the topic in one of your review sessions.

For more on reviews see the third and fourth experiences in Peter Drucker’s “My Life as a Knowledge Worker,” Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire Your Life by Bruce Rosenstein and David Allen’s weekly reviews.

Calendarizing involves the action of identifying implementation steps to be taken in time—including a foolproof next action reminder on your calendar.

Calendarizing is the action of “choreographing” the action related to a broad topic in a changing world—a world moving toward unimagined futures.

Calendarizing involves THINKING

Inside Man, The Thomas Crown Affair — 1968, The Next Three Days and The Prince offer thinking choreography examples

Think about uncertainties, constraints, barriers, counter-attacks and responses

How about some Drucker thinking

If something can be done it can be calendarized. If something can’t be done yet, what can be calendarized to make it doable? See The Management Revolution



Calendarization begins with first exposure (see below) and ends following abandonment attempts—things take on a life of their own which doesn’t necessarily end when we want. There needs to be a future calendar entry until no further action can be taken.

The first step: What thinking is needed? Where does this topic fit in the world and in my worldS? Today and Tomorrow

Larger view (wip)

Every further “step” along the way is an opportunity for attention directing and making connections. Things will change. Mistakes will have been made and will need to be corrected.



First exposure can be the result of a systematic search, horizon scanning or some other process. This time-life navigation © (TLN) site is an example of a systematic search.

Larger view

Or first exposure may occur while reading or seeing something. Below are a couple of examples that seem pretty general but definitely need to be on someone’s radar.

Increasingly, the policy of any country—and especially of any developed country—will have to give primacy to the country’s competitive position in an increasingly competitive world economy.

Any proposed domestic policy needs to be shaped so as to improve the country’s competitive position in the world economy or, at the least, so as to minimize adverse impacts on it.

The same holds true for policies and strategies of any institution within a nation, whether a local government, a business, a university, or a hospital.

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.

Yet the traditional multinational may well become obsolete.

It manufactures and distributes in a number of distinct geographies, in which it is a local company.

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.

More examples below …




A thinking canvas can be useful for documenting blue hat thinking, seeing the big picture and working out the details.
thinking canvas
Part of the big picture includes the questions: “what will this lead to and where will it leave us?” See TLN end result and action for a broader view.

Getting from point A to point B requires steps. These steps have to be something specific that could be written on a to do list or plan. It it the process of going from vague to specific. It creates an action blueprint. It is bigger than project planning. It is bigger than operations. It is bigger than today. Sometimes it involves a sequence of work modules (example). Frequently it should contain a provision for appropriately refocusing attention on the overall blueprint and its individual components so the action designer maintains the designed focus and energy and avoids flow of events reactions—a fail-safe attempt. Something about mouse thinking needs to be added here.

Calendarizing doesn’t mean that every individual step or action has an assigned date. A master plan with a fool proof reminder system may be adequate in many cases. When the reminder comes due, we can review the plan to determine the next actions and schedule them.

Sometimes just a reminder to consider whether a issue or topic belongs on our radar is adequate.

See Peter Drucker’s annual review in My Life as a Knowledge Worker

At its highest level, calendarization is the systematic process of getting to the “right” topics, the “right” concepts and then from these “right” concepts to the “right” daily action.

Assumptions and limited mental landscapes can be a barrier to getting to “right” concepts.

A foundation for future directed decisions is essential for getting to the “right” topics and concepts. More on foundations further down the page.

Conceptual resources can help discover and explore both topics and concepts.

Conceptual resource list

Concepts to Daily Action provides the raw materials for harvesting conceptual resources. The outputs of this process are ingredients for an individual’s calendarization processing.

Calendarizing is facilitated by thinking broad and thinking detail.

Edward de Bono’s thinking brainscape may help: Six Thinking Hats and Six Action Shoes


A way to use conceptual resources: (from a Peter Drucker book)

  • I suggest you read a chapter at a time

  • And then first ask:

    • What do these issues, these challenges MEAN

      • for our organization and

      • for me as a knowledge worker, a professional, an executive?

    • Once you have thought this through, ask:

      • What ACTION should our organization and I, the individual knowledge worker and/or executive, take to make the challenges of this chapter into OPPORTUNITIES for our organization and me?


See Opportunities by Edward de Bono


Images from Flying Logic website

theory of constraints

future reality

strategy and tactics


back to top?



David Allen’s project planning. Software: structured note-taking, mind and concept mapping, outlining, simple project planning. Plain copy paper and colored pens are also useful in getting started.

A hierarchical master action list computer application—similar to OmniFocus, TaskPaper or TodoPaper maybe helpful in choreographing actions in various life areas. See my information-tools-mac tag on delicious.



Write An Action Plan

Executives are doers; they execute.

Knowledge is useless to executives until it has been translated into deeds.

But before springing into action, the executive needs to plan his course.

He needs to think about desired results, probable restraints, future revisions, check-in points, and implications for how he’ll spend his time.

First, the executive defines desired results by asking: “What contributions should the enterprise expect from me over the next 18 months to two years?

What results will I commit to?

With what deadlines?”

Then he considers the restraints on action: “Is this course of action ethical?

Is it acceptable within the organization?

Is it legal?

Is it compatible with the mission, values, and policies of the organization?”

Affirmative answers don’t guarantee that the action will be effective.

But violating these restraints is certain to make it both wrong and ineffectual.

The action plan is a statement of intentions rather than a commitment.

It must not become a straitjacket.

It should be revised often, because every success creates new opportunities.

So does every failure.

The same is true for changes in the business environment, in the market, and especially in people within the enterprise—all these changes demand that the plan be revised.

A written plan should anticipate the need for flexibility.

In addition, the action plan needs to create a system for checking the results against the expectations.

Effective executives usually build two such checks into their action plans.

The first check comes halfway through the plan’s time period; for example, at nine months.

The second occurs at the end, before the next action plan is drawn up.

Finally, the action plan has to become the basis for the executive’s time management.

Time is an executive’s scarcest and most precious resource.

And organizations—whether government agencies, businesses, or nonprofits—are inherently time wasters.

The action plan will prove useless unless it’s allowed to determine how the executive spends his or her time.

Napoleon allegedly said that no successful battle ever followed its plan.

Yet Napoleon also planned every one of his battles, far more meticulously than any earlier general had done.

Without an action plan, the executive becomes a prisoner of events.

And without check-ins to reexamine the plan as events unfold, the executive has no way of knowing which events really matter and which are only noise.

The Effective Executive



Effective decisions involve calendarization.

Also see topic work and action plans




Before considering specifically what to calendarize you need a foundation for future directed decisions.

There’s not enough time to do everything

The relationship between foundation and what is a chicken and egg thing. It is important to make connections.

The changing social and economic picture is a part of that foundation.

The future that has already happened

The Daily Drucker

See A Century of Social Transformation—Emergence of Knowledge Society and then consider the importance of the timing and sequence of the areas we choose to calendarize.

Informed responses and reactions to the issues introduced in the openings paragraphs (and other catastrophic events) should be on our WHAT radar.

The Management Revolution

The seven principles that form the foundation of management (chapter 1, “Management as Social Function and Liberal Art,” “What is Management,” The Essential Drucker by Peter Drucker or Chapters 1-3 of Management, Revised Edition).

Change Management Practices: systematic abandonment; the seven windows of innovative opportunity, improvements that aim to create a radically different product, process, or service in a few years, and the exploitation of one’s successes — see Post-Capitalist Society :: Knowledge: Its Economics and its Productivity

For many The Effective Executive in Action

Peter Drucker on Leadership

Career and Life Guidance from Peter Drucker

You might want to consider what you want to be remembered for in deciding what to calendarize. The problem is: when do ever really know.



WHAT to calendarize is of paramount importance.

Maybe the first thing revolves around the question: “what do you need to do keep from having a serious financial problem?”

The second area of calendarization should be Managing Oneself and managing oneself for effectiveness as an action foundation for everything else

Creating a non-competitive life

You could calendarize the development of your life management system (LNS) or life navigation system (LNS)

For practice, you could calendarize your life-long vacation plans. What would have to be done and when for these vacations to be mouth wateringly attractive in prospect and wonderfully memorable?

You could create and maintain a list of areas to calendarize.



More calendarization clues: broad topic area examples

If you ran across either of the following passages what would you calendarize?

The First Technological Revolution and Its Lessons

For the first time in thousands of years, we face again a situation that can be compared with what our remote ancestors faced at the time of the irrigation civilization.

It is not only the speed of technological change that creates a revolution, it is its scope as well.

Above all, today, as seven thousand years ago, technological developments from a great many areas are growing together to create a new human environment.

This has not been true of any period between the first technological revolution and the technological revolution that got under way two hundred years ago and has still clearly not run its course.

Chapter 7, “The First Technological Revolution and Its Lessons,”
Technology, Management and Society
by Peter Drucker

Anticipating and Planning Technology

The “unpredictability of technology” is an old slogan.

Indeed, it underlies to a considerable extent the widespread “fear of technology.”

But it is not even true that invention is incapable of being anticipated and planned.

Indeed, what made the “great inventors” of the nineteenth century—Edison, Siemens, or the Wright brothers—"great” was precisely that they knew how to anticipate technology, to define what was needed and would be likely to have real impact, and to plan technological activity for the specific breakthrough that would have the greatest technological impact—and, as a result, the greatest economic impact.

It is even more true in respect to “innovation” that we can anticipate and plan; indeed, with respect to “innovation,” we have to anticipate and plan to have any effect.

And it is, of course, with “innovation” rather than with “invention” that the businessman is concerned.

Innovation is not a technical, but a social and economic, term.

It is a change in the wealth-producing capacity of resources through new ways of doing things.

It is not identical with “invention,” although it will often follow from it.

It is the impact on economic capacity, the capacity to produce and to utilize resources, with which “innovation” is concerned.

And this is the area in which business is engaged.

It should be said that technology is no more “predictable” than anything else.

In fact, predictions of technology are, at best, useless and are likely to be totally misleading.

Jules Verne, the French science fiction writer of a hundred years ago, is remembered today because his predictions have turned out to be amazingly prophetic.

What is forgotten is that Jules Verne was only one of several hundred science fiction writers of the late nineteenth century—which indeed was far more the age of science fiction writing than even the present decade.

And the other 299 science fiction writers of the time, whose popularity often rivaled and sometimes exceeded that of Jules Verne, were all completely wrong.

More important, however, no one could have done anything at the time with Jules Verne’s predictions.

For most of them, the scientific foundations needed to create the predicted technology did not exist at the time and would not come into being for many years ahead.

Chapter 3, “Business and Technology,”
Toward the Next Economics and Other Essays
by Peter Drucker

What are the opportunities time and history have (will) put within your grasp? — Peter Drucker

Calendarizing combined with the right strategic work plan (the product of upstream calendarizing) reduces the mental burden of juggling balls.

You might want to harvest the ideas (from this page) that you want to implement and then create a work map.


TLN Keywords: tlnkwcalendarize calendarization tlnkwcalendarization calendarizing tlnkwcalendarizing calendarize calendarized tlnkwcalendarized


“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 (PDF) 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



More than anything else,

the individual
has to take more responsibility
for himself or herself,
rather than depend on the company.”


“Making a living is no longer enough
‘Work’ has to make a life .” continue

finding and selecting the pieces of the puzzle


The Second Curve




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



What’s the next effective action on the road ahead




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 working out a plan for coping with 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: The memo THEY don't want you to see



To create a site search, go to Google’s site ↓

Type the following in their search box ↓

your search text



What needs doing?




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