brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns


pyramid to dna

FoundationS for future directed decisions

are the basis of
a life-management or life-navigation system.

These foundations set our outer limits.

Effective foundations
may be enhanced
time investments

“Our thinking, choices, decisions ↓ are determined by what we have seen” … continue … “And our brain can only see ↓ what it’s prepared to see” … continue

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

cork board radar medium

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




The society of organizations and individual decisions


1. Future directed decisions: For decisions to be effective, they need to be effective in the time yet to unfold—in other words decisions need to work “on the road ahead of us” rather than the past—the time spans with which we are most familiar.

This is not about future decisions (decisions we plan to make in the future), but about the futurity of present decisions. …


“Decision making is a time machine

that synchronizes into a single time — the present
a great number of divergent time spans.

We are learning this only now.

Our approach still tends toward making plans for something
we will decide to do in the future,
which may be entertaining but is futile.

We can make decisions only in the present,
and yet we cannot make decisions for the present alone;
the most expedient, most opportunistic decision—let alone
the decision not to decide at all—
may commit us for a long time,
if not permanently and irrevocably.” — Chapter 11, MRE by PFD


At one time Kodak employed over 60,000 workers. By 2015
that number had shrunk to 2,000+. Think about the domino and ripple impact
on families and real estate values etc.


The Sweep of History and Thinking about Time Usage


Problems or opportunities


time spans

Also see time spans.

A link to an exploration of the futurity
of present decisions would be appropriate here
(Google: drucker futurity decisions).


2. Foundations are the information bases and social terrain awareness upon which future directed decisions rest.

Different decisions areas require different familiarities.

Our foundations create or shape our expectations for the future.

These foundations come from time investments.

The adequacy of an attempt to do one’s “homework” on a topic depends on the adequacy of the foundation.


Together the ideas above — 1 and 2 — form a Future Directed Decision Foundation (FDDF) or a Foundation for Future Directed Decisions (FFDD).

Our foundation is part of our mental terrain and it develops along our life lines

Our foundations are the totality of our active mental radars.

Things that have slipped off our radar are not part of our functioning foundation—a structured note-taking system may be helpful.

Creating foundations requires time investments and learning.




Social / political ecology

… It also implies that society, polity and economy are a genuine environment, a genuine whole, a true “system,” to use the fashionable term, in which everything relates to everything else and in which men, ideas, institutions, and actions must always be seen together in order to be seen at all, let alone to be understood.

... snip, snip ...

The aim is an understanding of the specific natural environment of man, his “policical ecology,” as a prerequisite to effective and responsible action, as an executive, as a policy-maker, as a teacher, and as a citizen. more




Identifying the Future (The Daily Drucker)

Futurists always measure their batting average by counting how many things they have predicted that have come true.

They never count how many important things come true that they did not predict.

Everything a forecaster predicts may come to pass.

Yet, he may not have seen the most meaningful of the emergent realities or, worse still, may not have paid attention to them.

There is no way to avoid this irrelevancy in forecasting, for the important and distinctive are always the result of changes in values, perception, and goals, that is, in things that one can divine but not forecast.

But the most important work of the executive is to identify the changes that have already happened.

The important challenge in society, economics, politics, is to exploit the changes that have already occurred and to use them as opportunities.

The important thing is to identify the “future that has already happened“—and to develop a methodology for perceiving and analyzing these changes.

A good deal of this methodology is incorporated in my 1985 book Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which shows how one systematically looks to the changes in society, in demographics, in meaning, in science and technology, as opportunities to make the future.




About the future: Peter Drucker wrote (in different places):

The future is unknown and unknowable. Also it will be different from what we now expect.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

The future that has already happened

Find “10 Making the Future Today” in Management, Revised Edition




Management guru was always a step ahead (a book review of The Definitive Drucker that appeared in the Boston Globe) contained the following:

“Management in the 21st century faces fundamental changes in the size and scope of opportunities,” he said …

The result is a book that lays out paths for managers to navigate the silent revolution that took place on five fronts—greater velocity of information, exploding geographic reach, changing demographics, increased customer control, and fluid definition of a company.

To succeed today, Drucker and Edersheim note the critical importance of looking at tomorrow while focusing on customers, innovating, building collaboration, investing in workers, and setting disciplines for decision-making …

Writing in the Harvard Business Review in 1988, he said management “has created a global economy and set new rules for countries that would participate in that economy as equal.

And it has itself been transformed.”




Today’s major economic problem is overcapacity in most of the world’s industries. Customers are scarce, not products. Demand, not supply, is the problem. Overcapacity leads to hyper competition, with too many goods chasing too few customers. And most goods and services lack differentiation—read more—Philip Kotler.




Topics from A Class With Drucker to consider calendarizing:

bbx What Everybody Knows Is Frequently Wrong

bbx If You Keep Doing What Worked in the Past You’re Going to Fail

bbx Approach Problems (challenges) with Your Ignorance—Not Your Experience

bbx Develop Expertise Outside Your Field to Be an Effective Manager

bbx Outstanding Performance Is Inconsistent with Fear of Failure

bbx You Must Know Your People to Lead Them

bbx People Have No Limits, Even After Failure

bbx Base Your Strategy on the Situation, Not on a Formula




The entire contents of this TLN site can be viewed as a foundation for future directed decisions.

A simpler big picture thinking landscape

Thinking along a brainroad

navigation links

TLN key links

All of these have crucial life and death organization evolution implications. Knowing everything about your industry will not get you to tomorrowS.


Victims of success


Organization evolution depends on INDIVIDUAL awareness, efforts …


What needs doing?


All of following are attention directing tools.


Druckerismsattention-directing thought jewels from PFD

topics and time

Books by Peter Drucker


bbx start page

bbx Knowledge specialty

bbx Managing oneself

bbx Realities

bbx From Analysis to Perception — The New Worldview

bbx Knowledge and Technology

bbx Concepts and ideas used or mis-used in our thinking and speaking

bbx Chapters 3 - 10 in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

bbx Management Challenges for the 21st Century and Managing in the Next Society here

complex mental landscape Adventures of a Bystander Connections Living in more than one world Who says elephants can't dance Post capitalist society Practical thinking Mgt challenges 21 c Mgt cases

All of these are listed in the site map




“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




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 starting pointThe memo THEY don't want you to see



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What needs doing?





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