pyramid to dna

Toward unimagined futures

Evidence can be seen in the news almost every day!!!




Taking career responsibility

Most of the pages on contain the following at the top of their page:

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brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns


This page provides some clarification of the phrase:

BrainroadS: As in “my brain has been down that road.”

The capitalized “S” is a reminder that there are many brainroads …

Effective action on the following …

“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.” ― Peter F. Drucker

TomorrowS: The capitalized “S” is a reminder that there is more than one tomorrow …






Following is from Post-Capitalist Society by Peter Drucker

Post-Capitalist Society
Amazon link: Post-Capitalist Society




“EVERY FEW HUNDRED YEARS in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation.

We cross what in an earlier book (The New Realities—1989) I called a “divide.”

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

(Can you identify what these components might be?)
(calendarize this?)

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.


We are currently living through just such a transformation.”

The Limping Middle Class

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






“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.

The post-capitalist society
is both a knowledge society and a society of organizations,
each dependent on the other and yet
each very different in its concepts, views, and values.


It is the very nature of knowledge
that it changes fast
and that today’s certainties
will be tomorrow’s absurdities.” — PFD






Chapter 3 — Labor, Capital, and Their Future

If knowledge is the resource of post-capitalist society, what then will be the future role and function of the two key resources of capitalist (and socialist) society, labor and capital?


Socially, the new challenges will predominate.

(to be discussed in Chapters 4 “The Productivity of the New Workforces” and 5 “The Responsibility Based Organization” and in the last part of this book — Knowledge: Its Economics and Its Productivity; The Accountable School; The Educated Person)

And the success of post-capitalist society will largely depend on our answers to them.

But politically, the unfinished business of capitalist society will be highly visible: the disappearance of labor as a factor of production, and the redefinition of the role and function of traditional capital.


We have moved already into an “employee society” where labor is no longer an asset.

We equally have moved into a “capitalism” without capitalists—which defies everything still considered self-evident truth, if not “the laws of nature,” by politicians, lawyers, economists, journalists, labor leaders, business leaders; in short, by most everybody regardless of political persuasion.

For that reason, these issues will be in the political spotlight in the decades ahead.

To be able to tackle successfully the new challenges of this transition period, we must resolve these two items of unfinished business: the future role and function of labor, and the future role and function of money capital.

See articles in the news for examples.




“THE NEW CHALLENGE facing the post-capitalist society is the productivity of knowledge workers and service workers.” (calendarize this?)

“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” (managing oneself).

“Even more drastic, indeed revolutionary, are the requirements for obtaining productivity from service workers”




Economic stagnation and severe social tension from
failure to raise knowledge and service worker productivity

Chapter 19 in Management, Revised Edition

Chapter 5 in Management Challenges for the 21st Century

Knowledge: Its Economics and Productivity




For clues to navigating toward tomorrowS … (calendarize these?)

bbx Management’s New Paradigm

bbx Management Challenges for the 21st Century

bbx Managing In The Next Society

The Next Society from the Economist

bbx From Analysis to Perception — The New Worldview

The question of the right size for a given task or a given organization will become a central challenge.

In an information-based society, bigness becomes a “function” and a dependent, rather than an independent, variable.

Increasingly, therefore, the question of the right size for a task will become a central one.

All of them are needed, but each for a different task and in a different ecology.

The right size will increasingly be whatever handles most effectively the information needed for task and function.

See Strategies and Structures in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices




The Changing Social and Economic Picture:





Following quotes from Peter Drucker

The most effective executive on record of whom we have any information was surely that minister of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who, all of 4250 years ago, conceived the first pyramid (without any precedent whatever for such an edifice) designed it and built it β€” and it still stands today without once having to be β€œre-engineered.”

And he did so without any management books to help him and surely without having an MBA.

But we need far too many effective executives to depend on geniuses.

And then there is need for a discipline β€” the discipline for being an effective executive.




Most successful executive in history: “Management as a practice is very old.

The most successful executive in all history was surely that Egyptian who, 4700 years or more ago, first conceived the pyramid—without any precedent—designed it and built it, and did so in record time.

Unlike any other work of man built at that time that first pyramid still stands.

But as a discipline, management is barely fifty years old.

It was first dimly perceived around the time of World War I.

It did not emerge until World War II, and then primarily in the United States.”

steam engine

Mechanical model of technology: In 1712, Thomas Newcomen put the first working steam engine into an English coal mine.

This made it possible for coal to be mined—until then groundwater had always flooded English mines.

With Newcomen’s engine, the age of steam was on.

Thereafter, for two hundred fifty years, the model of technology was mechanical.

Luther, Machiavelli, and the Salmon

oil rig

Fossil fuels rapidly became the main source of energy.


The ultimate source of motive power was what happens inside a star, that is, the sun.

In 1945, atomic fission and, a few years later, fusion replicated what occurs in the sun.

There is no going beyond this.

In 1945 the era, (in which the mechanical universe was the model) came to an end


A new civilization is born: Just a year later, in 1946, the first computer, the ENIAC, came on stream.

And with it began an age
in which information
will be

the organizing principle

for work

(This not about information technology i.e. IT—see information challenges below)


“Information” itself is indeed analytical and conceptual.

But information is the organizing principle of every biological process.

Life, modern biology teaches, is embodied in a “genetic code” that is, in programmed information.

Indeed, the sole definition of that mysterious reality “life” that does not invoke the supernatural is that it is matter organized by information.

And biological process is not analytical.

In a mechanical phenomenon the whole is equal to the sum of its parts and therefore capable of being understood by analysis.

Biological phenomena are however “wholes.” They are different from the sum of their parts.

Information is indeed conceptual.
But meaning is not;
it (meaning) is perception.

(See Attention, Water Logic and other Edward de Bono books).






The connection between the six preceding symbols (with their associated explanations) is a world repeatedly moving toward unimagined futureS




Sources for the quotes above: Most successful executive in history.  See paragraph beginning with "Once additional conclusion" under heading "The employee society" on page 311 of hardback, Chapter 23: "A century of social transformation—emergence of knowledge society" in The Essential Drucker by Peter Drucker.

Remaining symbols: See first three paragraphs and the paragraphs following the heading "From analysis to perception" in Chapter 26: "From analysis to perception—the new world view" in The Essential Drucker by Peter Drucker






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.”

Feb 20 — The Daily Drucker






Besides the time dimensions above, our lives are founded on our childhood in earlier times with the limited “world view” that implies—another dimension of unimagined futures.






Related and interwoven (part of a foundation for future directed decisions):

bbx About change

bbx A world moving in time

bbx The Management Revolution

bbx A work approach that is adequate to the challenges ahead

bbx Information Challenges (an organizing principle for work)

bbx From Computer Literacy to Information Literacy

bbx Society :: events :: stuff happening and my TLN Weblog

bbx views of changes in the strategic landscape—many are examples of unimagined futures

bbx Conceptual resources or HTML book list

bbx Peter Drucker on The X-Economy

bbx Thinking :: Edward de Bono: I am Right, You are Wrong; Water Logic; Mental Patterns; Life Lines

bbx Management, Revised Edition






Toward tomorrows

from pyramids to dna

pyramid to dna

Toward unimagined futures

bbx The End of Economic Man: The Origins of Totalitarianism (1939) There’s still lots to learn here!!!!

The Future of Industrial Man (1943)

The New Society: The Anatomy of Industrial Order (1950)

bbx Landmarks of Tomorrow (1957)

bbx The Age of Discontinuity (1968)

bbx The New Realities (1988)

bbx Post-Capitalist Society (1993)

bbx Managing in the Next Society (2002); Last section originally published earlier in The Economist (






Preparation for unimagined futures: developing a work approach that is adequate to the challenges ahead.

TLN Keywords: tlnkwunimaginedfutures


“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



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