Bob Embry | Résumé | Creating Brainroads toward TomorrowsS

Former corporate restructuring executive morphed into …

TLN components and dimensions

My site provides a flexible, systematic approach to moving toward tomorrows. A way to find and connect your key dots. = Real Life Adventures + Exploration

Why? “You can’t design your life around a temporary situation.”


The exploration arrow TLN key links for a “surface” view of the topical landscape

navigation links

TLN key links

Some political / social ecology

Changing social and economic picture

Snap shot of the economy ::: content, structure, money flows | effort | consumer lives

Work life brainscape © a bread crumb trail for knowledge workers — career evolution

Organization evolution and real innovation (beyond the hype)


Using conceptual resources as brainroads
to create brainscapes and brain addresses
to revisit and create new work agendas
for a different world and different future

Life design — as we don't know it

Thinking … the most fundamental,
the most important aspect of life,
the basis for everything is totally neglected …

Book store: no thinking category

Universities: no thinking faculty and zero possibility thinking

School: no thinking subjectEdward de Bono

Thinking is the knowledge worker’s specific work;
it is his/her “doing.” — Peter Drucker


arrow … to explore beneath the surface, skim over the site map (over 500+ web pages and 100+ PDFs)

site map text

text site map

An indication of the under-appreciated difficulty (euphemism) can be seen in the organization crisis stories in the news.

How Hewlett-Packard Lost the HP Way: Three CEOs in six years, boardroom changes, and other contributors to disfunction, Kodak, RIM …

Many of these organizations are/were not resource strapped—they didn't lack people with educational credentials or experience, money, facilities or the popular activities.

5 stages of decline


picture technology

Just filing out strategic planning forms is not adequate to the challenges ahead.

Another indication can be seen in the few organizations that actually positively evolve and rise to prominence.

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economy, the basic assumptions underlying much of what is taught and practiced in the name of management are hopelessly out of date.

As every seasoned executive has learned, few policies remain valid for as long as 20 to 30 years. Nor do most assumptions about the economy, about business, about technology remain valid longer than that. Yet most of our assumptions about business, technology and organization are at least 50 years old. They have outlived their time.

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Management is the specific tool, the specific function, the specific instrument, to make institutions capable of producing results.

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Management's concern and management's responsibility are everything that affects the performance of the institution and its results—whether inside or outside, whether under the institution's control or totally beyond it.

Peter Drucker
Management's New Paradigm

the big picture





Career and Life Guidance from Peter Drucker
is attention-directing work

career roads


No one can work on things that aren't on their radar. The links above provide a radar system.

To benefit requires starting well before there is an obvious need.

After digesting the contents of this page, how can I help you?

contact info

conceptual resource assistance

Conceptual resource assistance available




What follows is so old …

Operational foundation

I've worked in over 60 different organization settings and over 40 different kinds of work assignments in the military (USAF, some NASA exposure), university (Vanderbilt Medical School), Fortune 200 corporate executive—a mix of operational financial planning/consulting, unique project work, and troubleshooting— in manufacturing, design/marketing (mostly apparel), and retail environments (extensive retail market exploration).

Extensive travel to a wide variety of cultural settings in the US, Canada, and Europe

General manager corporate restructuring—nuts and bolts of closing or selling divisions.

Genesco SARA Kiss of Death

Former CPA


Conceptual foundation

Over 30 years of direct, full-time work have gone into developing the TLN site and background on which it rests. There was no Internet when I started working on this. There was just an instinct that something was wrong. At the time, I couldn't digest the paradox of a growing economy and so many organizations in crisis.

The aim of the background is both an external and long-term view of organization evolution (the main vehicle in delivering our standard of living) in the context of a world moving in time. Thinking several moves ahead and initiating the "right" sequenced actions is the essential thrust.

It is not possible to work on things that are not on one's "radar." In other words, the content of our active mental radar sets the limits of how we spend our lives. It is not very fruitful to work with yesterday's mental patterns in a world moving toward unimagined futures. Neither experience nor the formal education system—even at the highest levels—are adequate for navigating the roads ahead—as evidenced by the recurrent organization crisis stories the news.

The discreet items listed below are all part of a core reality and are inseparable from that reality.

The desire to pursue this background emerged from my own experiences in corporate restructuring and examining the histories of many prominent organizations from years ago—the ups, downs, disappearances and discontinuities. The following list portrays my search for what I now call an adequate work approach and foundation for future directed decisions.

Part of this background includes:

A meta-system moving in time

blue box exploring the economy—its content, structure, dynamics, and evolution. Explored my connections with the economy—what I consume, ultimate objective in doing so, desired improvements, desired new satisfactions etc. Reflected on the validity of this analysis in time. See snap shot of the economy—it contains links to: spending analysis, effort analysis, 2000 global brands, realities, strategic thinking chain, healthy financial architecture, small biz statistics, and the visible world around us.

Conceptual resources

blue box reading and classifying hundreds of articles from Harvard Business Review. I abandoned this a long time ago.

blue box dissected thousands of conceptual resources (books and articles) using computer outlining tools (Scrivener, OmniOutliner, Circus Ponies NoteBook, NoteTaker, DEVONthink Pro) These are part of concepts to daily action—a dimension of calendarizing. Available on my hard drive. See tables of content (insight and methodology), my categorized conceptual resource list and foundational work. (note to self — see page 16 in resume.nb Part of this includes dissecting Michael Kami's (strategic planning at Xerox and IBM) Corporate Planning Process Manual and prototyping an implementation database—an inadequate work approach. I maintain a database (DEVONthink Pro) of articles—mental radar blips

I'm extremely familiar with Peter Drucker's work (structured view) plus that of Edward de Bono (creative thought), Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Mike Kami (strategic planning IBM and Xerox), Kenichi Ohmae (strategy), M. Porter (strategy and industrial economics), Tom Peters (too many to link), Steven Covey, J. Juran (quality), E. Deming (quality), E. McKay (marketing), Ted Levitt (marketing and general management), Philip Kotler (marketing), Al Ries and Jack Trout (marketing), Karl Albrecht (marketing), Max de Pree (leadership), Andy Grove (general management), C.K. Prahalad, Bob Buford, David Allen, Edward McKay, Elizabeth Haas Edersheim, Frances Hesselbein, Gary Hamel, Guy Kawasaki, Isao Nakauchi, Jim Collins, Joseph A. Maciariello, Marshall Goldsmith, Michael Watkins, Ram Charan, Taiichi Ohno, Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, and quite a few others. These ideas can be superimposed on the content, structure, performance and results in society's three sectors. Entrepreneurship. Innovation.

Day-to-day intel

blue box purposefully reading well over 50,000 newspaper and magazine articles on time-life navigation © events (includes extensive classification work). These events demonstrate the synthesis of the TLN dimensions (work life action management and organization evolution, life design, and financial investing) in action.

Examples: My TLN Weblog (select articles); all recent articles contained in my DEVONthink article database (blog source); and earlier story titles. See Intel map, News analysis table.doc, and Jack Welch Book 2000 for relevance and importance.

Organization and investment performance

blue box an extensive amount of work on stock selection (similar to and organization performance profiling including statistics on the distribution of performance measurements (over time) that can be found in Value Line and Forbes. Also investigated startups and venture capital.

blue box 1600 pages in Value Line Investment Survey and beta testing their software

blue box bios of the 400 wealthiest Americans and classifying their wealth sources

Economic data

blue box exploring The Statistical Abstract, GNP and Federal Reserve reports and graphs (e.g. Business Conditions Digest)

blue box over 100 research studies published by the Federal Reserve

Information tools

blue box beta testing software and participating in a number of software communities (text analysis, concept mapping, graphics, and other work flow tools). Daily work includes reviewing new releases announced at MacUpdate. Part of the work flow involved in "concepts to daily action."

blue box developing the capacity to create basic web sites and moderately complex web pages

blue box exploring thousands of web sites

The point of this background work: evolving social and economic terrain familiarity—a part of navigation capacity and the full range of organization evolution. The breadth of topics covered in the site is one indicator of that familiarity. We can only work with what's on our radar and within our attention span. The human brain only sees what it is prepared to see.

Research notes after I had trashed about half of them: view 1 and view 2

My key resources:

flash Peter Drucker:

flash Edward de Bono bio:

flash Warren Buffett info:


  1. Toward unimagined futures

  2. Knowledge system view

  3. Information challenges

The Second Half of Your Life

Need more info? Best way is to explore the web-site. Or send an email.