brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns


pyramid to dna

Rapidly reading through this page
without clicking links may be the best initial approach

We are living in a world that is not moving linearly.

TomorrowS are not going to be extrapolations of yesterdayS.

Putting this off until tomorrow almost guarantees unhappy tomorrowS.

middle class blues

Assuming that yesterday lasts forever is an invitation for a crisis.

We can only work on and with the things on our mental radar


Our mental radar sets our outer limits
both in terms of reaction to events and
creating tomorrowS.

radar at different point in time

Attention directing tools enhance our mental radar

Page purpose: looking at general areas of time investment and
broadening one’s range of vision as both
opportunity and protection from surprises.


Writing out what you see
is different from saying it
mentally or verbally. It makes you decide.

Additionally, what are the implications of what you see?

Dense reading and Dense listening

Thinking Broad and Thinking Detailed by Edward de Bono

foundations and opportunities

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




The society of organizations demands of the individual decisions regarding himself.

At first sight, the decision may appear only to concern career and livelihood.

“What shall I do?” is the form in which the question is usually asked.

But actually it reflects a demand that the individual take responsibility for society and its institutions.

What cause do I want to serve?” is implied.

bbx The World is Full of Options

bbx Carefully choosing your nonprofit affiliations (beware of scams and inside-out bureaucracies because society suffers the consequences and you are part of society.

If they don’t produce the desired results outside of themselves then we have to pay a second or a third or a fourth … organization until we get what is needed.)

And underlying this question is the demand the individual take responsibility for himself.

bbx Managing Oneself then …

bbx The Effective Executive: Preface

What shall I do with myself?” rather than “’What shall I do?” is really being asked of the young by the multitude of choices around them.

The society of organizations forces the individual to ask of himself:

bbx “Who am I?”

bbx “What do I want to be?”

bbxWhat do I want to put into life and what do I want to get out of it?

read more on how can the individual survive …

The Age of Discontinuity:
Guidelines To Our Changing Society

enhanced by bobembry



... replace the quest for success with the quest for contribution.
(to the society of organizations moving in time — above)

The critical question is not, “How can I achieve?”
but “What can  I  contribute?”

The Daily Drucker



You can’t design your life around a temporary organization

managing oneself and living in more than one world

Successful careers are not planned

They develop when people are prepared
for opportunities
because they know
their strengths,
their method of work, and
their values.

Knowing where one belongs
can transform an ordinary person
—hardworking and competent but otherwise mediocre—
into an outstanding performer.


Managing Oneself and Living in More than One World

To get the benefits you have to calendarize these

“What do you need to learn to get the most out of your strengths?”

The World is Full of Options

“What do you need to learn so that you can decide where to go next?”

Managing in a Time of Great Change



The three types of intelligence discussed in The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

the prince

Types of behavior that can be observed …




… “Power has to be used.

It is a reality.

If the decent and idealistic toss power in the gutter, the guttersnipes pick it up.

If the able and educated refuse to exercise power responsibly, irresponsible and incompetent people take over the seats of the mighty and the levers of power.

Power not being used for social purposes passes to people who use it for their own ends.

At best it is taken over by the careerists who are led by their own timidity into becoming arbitrary, autocratic, and bureaucratic.”

How Can The Individual Survive?
The Age of Discontinuity: Guidelines To Our Changing Society
by Peter Drucker



What do you want to be remembered for?

In Landmarks of Tomorrow, Peter Drucker wrote “everyone is an understudy to the leading role in the drama of human destiny” and the “great roles are not written in the iambic pentameter or the Alexandrine of the heroic theater.”

They are, instead, “prosaic — played out in one’s daily life, in one’s work, in one’s citizenship, in one’s compassion or lack of it, in one’s courage to stick on an unpopular principle, and in one’s refusal to sanction man’s inhumanity to man in an age of cruelty and moral numbness.”



The center of modern society
is the managed institution
(not bureaucracies).

Institutions: Private sector, public sector, and social sector

The knowledge society into which we are moving so fast is going to be a society of organizations.

But of organizations—plural—that will be diverse, decentralized, multiform.

And within these organizations, we are moving away from the standardized, uniform structures that were generally accepted in public administration and business management, “the one right structure for the typical manufacturing company,” for instance, or the “model government agency.”

We are moving toward organic design, informed by mission, purpose, strategy, and the environment, both social and physical—the design I began to advocate forty years ago in The Practice of Management (which came out in 1954). …

Sidebar: … to pursue the preceding line of thought

see Management’s New Paradigm

… 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.

… and see Management, Revised Edition which contains a similarly named chapter with a different “landscape” a.k.a. “brainscape.”

Management Cases (Revised Edition) provides a more day-to-day, issue-to-issue, situational “landscape” view.

Also see From Analysis to Perception — The New World View” found in The New Realities or The Essential Drucker. Form and Function Connections: see chapters On Being the Right Size and On Being the Wrong Size in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices and others. (calendarize this?)




Many highly intelligent people use their thinking
to back up or defend their immediate judgement of a matter.
… a perception-broadening tool (attention-directing)
forces a thinker to explore the situation
before coming to a judgement — Edward de Bono


“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.” read more

Attention directing is exploring


Questions are attention directing tools

the definitive drucker

Questions in The Definitive Drucker.

Social ecologists try to find the right questions

Using your ignorance to your benefit

What impact might an educated person add to the thinking?



Effectively working on questions
requires a
foundation for future directed decisions


Sometimes alternative answers
need to be combined
to create an effective “constellation.”

A constellation



Dense reading and Dense listening

A tool for harvesting, collecting, and organizing “information”


Larger ::: Scrivener

Larger view of challenge thinking and an alternativeoperacy

challenge thinking

Dense reading and Dense listening
and Thinking broad and Thinking detailed
by Edward de Bono

Google site search: asking right questions

See Drucker books for more questions

Big Picture: Changing social and economic picture > content of the economy over time > organization evolution work > organization evolution ideas (brain addresses) and action.

changing social and economic picture et al

Similar to above with theory of the business, objectives, and harvesting system …

csep and management


The changing social and economic picture — the mothership of everything



The transformation


Realities: rising and falling

Black rotary dial phones replaced by Princess phones replaced by a multitude of phones augmented and replaced by cell phones morphed into smart phones and whatever



Economic content and structure. Businesses are organs of the economy. Organs are never defined by what they do or how they do it. They are defined by what they contribute. Adoption rates impact “organ” size. What exists is getting old.

eco content and structure


*** Realities (calendarize these?) ***

From Analysis to Perception — The New Worldview

Knowledge system view

knowledge system view

Knowledge :: Society of Organizations :: Management

Knowledge specialty

From computer literacy to information literacy


Knowledge and technology

knowledge technology

… Now we are increasingly organizing knowledge and the search for it around areas of application rather than around the subject areas of disciplines.

Interdisciplinary work has grown everywhere.

This is a symptom of the shift in the meaning of knowledge from an end in itself to a resource, that is, a means to some result.

Knowledge as the central energy of a modern society exists altogether in application and when it is put to work.

Work, however, cannot be defined in terms of the disciplines.

End results are interdisciplinary of necessity.



small biz management



Broken Washroom Doors

Drucker said the problem of having people in positions where they do the least amount of good exists everywhere, but it is more rampant in hospitals, churches, and other nonprofits than in corporations.

To raise productivity in most any organization managers should regularly assess their key people, their strengths, and the results they achieve.

Then they should ask themselves:

Do we have the right people in the right jobs, where they can make the greatest contributions?

Are the jobs the right ones, meaning do we have people performing tasks that even if achieved do not add value to the organization?

What changes in people, jobs, and job functions can we make that will yield greater results?

Inside Drucker's Brain


why great companies fail


An indication of the under-appreciated difficulty (euphemism) can be seen in the organization crisis stories flowing through 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 (Ph.Ds, MBAs), high IQs or experience, money, facilities or the popular activities (marketing, innovation efforts, strategic planning, employee and management development).

five stages of decline

evolution of refrigeration


Abandoned factories

abandoned factories


Distressed locations

distressed locations


middle class blues

The Limping Middle Class


Mike Kami's determinants of success

Larger view of image below

determinants of success

Managing in the Next Society et cetera

Organization evolution concepts

Mental patterns

org ev overview


organization evolution stages

org ev linear


patterns of devopment


org dev structures

Apple event

knowledge levels

Knowledge :: society of organizations :: management

Who will participate in this world as equals and who will be left behind?

Five most important questions: What is our plan?

five most important questions


Theory of the business and other strategic components

theory of the business


Information challenges

Change leader

change leader




Knowledge workers need a score

knowledge workers need a score


Knowledge workers as volunteers

knowledge workers as volunteers


Rethinking the “theory of the business” over time

theory of the business over time


Find a “A User's Guide to MBO” here

“Performance is only possible against very limited goals”
The Five Most Important Questions

Strategic planning

strategic planning

Time spans

time spans




Career roads

career roads


Managing Oneself

managing oneself


Apply Thinking Broad and Thinking Detailed by Edward de Bono
to the topics below

managing oneself


Life lines

life lines

time usage map


Time-life navigation (TLN) radar

What would a career work map contain?






Second half of one's life

second half of your life


Individual work

radar list needs


Brain roads, neighborhoods/ecologies, addresses …

brain roads


Radar list

clipping to oo


Creating action areas from a book

book to work plan


Identifying action areas

Calendarization: From awareness to action

An action analysis on every sentence.
What are the implications of a particular sentence?
Dense reading and Dense Listening
Thinking broad and Thinking detailed

harvested outline


Apply thinking process below to the outline above

challenge thinking

Conceptual resources and quick scan notes


What needs to be on my current radar?

quickscan notes

Harvesting and action system

harvesting implementing


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

Managing Oneself, again.
Mentally insert the image below
at the base of the
light green square above

managing oneself2

managing oneself

Thinking overview scan

thinking scan overview


Mini-thinking system



A thinking structure


Teach Yourself to Think

The Six Thinking Hats

Thought generation and recording

thought generation

Thinking Broad and Thinking Detailed by Edward de Bono

Topic action system (source: radar?)

calendarization breakdown


Using a computer in life to have a life in a borderless world

computer usage


Life design exploration

life design dimensions


Living in More Than One World

life design elements


Brainroads arrow Foundations for future directed decisions

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

Thinking about financial investing

Financial investing FFFDD

High-points: Low cost index funds (Google: “Couch Potato Portfolio” OR “Lazy Portfolio”); Portfolio rebalancing; Fees buried in retirement plans (Google: 401(k) disclosure some fees still hidden); What’s happening with the global population? Where is the growth and where is the decline?

Why invest in companies unwilling to invest in themselves?

The Truth About Wealth

Steve Forbes comments on the Forbes Rich List

Warren Buffett: reflections and unplugged

… There are so many great families whose former grandeur survives only as an echo — in the names of museums, converted mansions, streets, and towns. Their descendants don't have it anymore. Taxes, inflation, expropriation, and changing times have pulled them down. If they, armed with the cleverest advisers, bankers, and lawyers couldn't keep their money, can it be easy?

Survival is a competition. What you have, including your savings, others want, and will struggle to get. The push to take it back from you is as relentless as that of the sea to overcome the dikes that contain it or the jungle to enfold a patch of cleared ground. The whole order of nature pushes to reclaim its own. Governments bow to that kind of pressure. Pieces of paper are a weak defense.

Only through deep understanding and superior tactics can the investor hope to preserve even part of what he has saved, and the job gets harder every year.

In many countries it is virtually impossible, and almost everybody eventually becomes a ward of the state, whose pretensions thus become irresistible. The barons being impoverished, King John is supreme. Read more



What to do in time?





time usage map

model week

Model calendars: what do you want your future life to look like?

Developmental ideas and creating a mental framework

developmental ideas and mental framework

Developmental ideas
Mental framework



Because the knowledge society
perforce has to be
a society of organizations,
its central and distinctive organ is

Knowledge, society of organizations, management



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 stepladder is gone, and
there’s not even the implied structure
of an industry’s rope ladder.

It’s more like vines …


and you bring your own machete.

You don’t know what you’ll be doing next
Managing in a Time of Great Change


You can’t design your life around a temporary organization — Peter Drucker


NBC Universal's Jeff Zucker says he's being shown the door

Comcast's Steve Burke told him to 'move on' after the merger.

Jeff Zucker, a lifelong employee of NBC Universal, said Friday that he would step down as chief executive after being told there won't be a place for him once Philadelphia cable giant Comcast Corp. takes over the company at the end of the year.

Soros to return outsiders’ hedge fund money

(Reuters)—Billionaire investor George Soros, whose stock-picking career has spanned nearly four decades, said he will manage money only for himself and his family as new regulations threaten to crimp the hedge fund industry he made famous.

The octogenarian fund manager, known as much for earning $1 billion on a nervy currency bet as for giving away millions to support liberal causes, will return roughly $1 billion to outside investors most likely by the end of the year and turn Soros Fund Management into a family office. The sum represents only a small portion of the $25 billion he oversees.

Keith Anderson, who has been Soros' chief investment officer since 2008, will leave the firm.

Soros hires new chief investment officer

(Reuters)—Billionaire investor George Soros is continuing to overhaul the management team of his Soros Fund Management LLC, which is converting from a hedge fund to a family office.

The octogenarian fund manager, who is in the process of returning $1 billion to outside investors, announced in a September 19 letter that Scott Bessent is joining as the firm's new chief investment officer.

Bessent, a former Soros fund alum, most recently was a senior partner and director of research for Protege Partners. He will takeover for Keith Anderson, who stepped down as the fund's chief investment officer in July.

Starting Over is the New Norm

… In this age of corporate downsizing, mergers, outsourcing, layoffs, and mass dismissals, you may well have to come to terms with the idea that job security is rarely something to count on. … .

In short, the era of the paternal corporation that took care of people from cradle to crypt is over. Many studies show that a typical professional in this early part of the new millennium will need to change jobs six or seven times. That means that you have to be prepared to start over and over again.

On the face of it, that may seem daunting. Anyone who’s been fired knows how terrifying it is to be stripped suddenly of job security, not to mention a regular income. Foreclosures suddenly stare you in the face. Health insurance is gone. There’s the social embarrassment of being canned from one’s job. Marriages sometimes unravel as economic circumstances worsen. …

What preparation is required? See the article for his response. …

foundations and opportunities

Reminder dashboard

A way to visualize
the breadth of alternative
conceptual landscapes
and make connections


Not possible to get to tomorrowS
by just piling up more todays

… “All this suggests that the greatest changes are almost certainly still ahead of us.

We can also be sure that the society of 2030 will be very different from that of today, and that it will bear little resemblance to that predicted by today’s best-selling futurists.

It will not be dominated or even shaped by information technology.

IT will, of course, be important, but it will be only one of several important new technologies.

The central feature of the Next Society, as of its predecessors, will be new institutions and new theories, ideologies, and problems.” — Managing in the Next Society

What to calendarize?
(working it out in time)


“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



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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