brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns


pyramid to dna

This page is a work in progress

Time-usage decisions in a world moving toward unimagined futures

You can only work on, with and toward the things on your mental radar at a point in time in a world moving toward unimagined futures.

This page provides a blueprint for creating a system to cope with the preceding reality.

This page and the brainroad it reveals provides a means to circumvent those to act as if tomorrow is going to be an extrapolation of yesterday. It is provides a means to escape the prison of the past.

The history of the world in two hours is a brainroad

Your future, your children’s and grandchildren’s future will always be between your ears … They ain’t gonna get it in school. At best, they’ll get a passport to a career, but that doesn’t guarantee they can or will perform in a competitive global knowledge economy — more on this below.

Snapshot of the economy

Shock and awe → If you keep doing what worked in the past, you and everybody else are going to fail. You can test this assertion by looking at the world as it existed at earlier points in time.

As a former executive responsible for a Fortune 200 restructuring, it comes as a major shock for people to learn that their part of a company is closing down. They are often left with little to offer a future employer. These organization events send shockwaves though families and communities. Remember the community meltdown in Detroit and Rochester, NY — the home of Kodak (from 60,000 employees to less than 3,000)?

In a growing, evolving, viciously competitive global knowledge economy:

Why would someone be interested in you?

What do you have that they want?

Life-time employment is a dead concept
Life-time employment is a dead concept

We know only two things about the future: It is going to be different and different from what is now expected.

Sweeping historical changes a.k.a. unimagined futures

Economic development
Economic development

It’s in the responsible adult news ← radar blips

Time usage → the determining factor

Knowledge is the only meaningful resource today.

And knowledge in this new sense means knowledge as a utility, knowledge as the means to obtain social and economic results

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.

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

The knowledge we now consider knowledge proves itself in action.

What we now mean by knowledge is information effective in action, information focused on results.

These results are seen outside the person—in society and economy, or in the advancement of knowledge itself.

To accomplish anything, this knowledge has to be highly specialized.

The shift from knowledge to knowledges has given knowledge the power to create a new society.

But this society has to be structured on the basis of knowledge as something specialized, and of knowledge people as specialists.

This is what gives them their power.

The central workforce in the knowledge society will, therefore, consist of highly specialized people

There is no higher knowledge and no lower knowledge

The knowledge of the knowledge society, precisely because it is knowledge only when applied in action, derives its rank and standing from the situation and not from its knowledge content.

In the knowledge society, knowledges are tools and, as such, dependent for their importance and position on the task to be performed.

The concepts above were extracted from Post-Capitalist Society and a century of social transformation

Information will be the organizing principle for work → try searching for “information” on the following pages and note the surrounding conceptual landscapes …

  • mc21c
  • cost
  • daily drucker

If you take this work seriously, you’ll need to figure out a way to note areas of work interest and then think through the action needed.

Short daily reading to enhance your mental landscape:

The first deals with our ecological reality and the second with the landscape of perception.

Awareness; Perception; Broad; Logic Bubble; Possibly; Alternatives; Plurality; Parallel Thinking; Choice; Values; Emotions and Feelings; Judgement; Design; A new super-pattern: What would Merlin do here?

Perception is becoming more important than analysis

Think of this page as a “timescape” of brain addresses, brain neighborhoods, brain continents or brain universes that can be revisited and “mined” for actions that will create YOUR future.

The more you SEE, the more you have to draw on and the more avenues that are available to you. ← (needs revision)

Major page sections:

SELF-DEVELOPMENT → You are responsible for allocating your life → nobody is going to do it for you → continue

Some Words of Wisdom From Peter Drucker to My Daughter

I must warn you that Drucker believed “education should confer duties rather than privileges.”
In other words, none of what I’m about to tell you is going to be easy.

For starters, have the courage to quit your first job.
I know, I know.
You aren’t even gainfully employed yet and the labor market is brutal, especially for recent grads, and I’m suggesting that you already be prepared to give notice.

But “on the whole,” Drucker wrote, “young people have a tendency to hang on to the first job … beyond the time when they should have quit for their own good.”
So, as crazy as it might sound, be ready to bolt if you aren’t learning enough, or if you don’t work for an employer that, as Drucker put it, is willing “to heap responsibility on people in junior positions.”

“Your first job may turn out to be right for you—but this is pure accident,” Drucker noted.

A moving constellation of mobile knowledge specialty and competencies

Let Peter Drucker’s top of the food chain wisdom be your mentor → A broad introduction

Niccolò Machiavelli’s thoughts on intelligence + → continue

No permanent answers
No permanent answers

It is useful to think about everything in the context of the illustration above

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persist in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. — George Shaw


The links and notes in this section are attention directing tools.

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

Attention directing is one of the most basic thinking operations → a brief introduction

We cannot see things unless we are prepared to see them → explore

What do each of the attention directing ideas that you see mean for you? → A jumping off point for dealing with action clues

Types of intelligence and types of behavior — it is obvious to the people who influence the quality of your life

Thinking broad and thinking detailed — converting these topics into action

Information is not enough — thinking is needed — plus dense listening and dense reading

Social and economic development
Social and economic development

Larger version of the image above

Edward de Bono — a broader and deeper mental landscape

Just reading is not enough → Calendarizing: working something out in time and putting the next action step in your calendar

Work-life vistas

The individual in entrepreneurial society

In an entrepreneurial society individuals face a tremendous challenge, a challenge they need to exploit as an opportunity: the need for continuous learning and relearning. This page offers a variety of learning areas …

Two questions that need frequent rethinking:

Why would anybody be interested in you?

What do you have that they want?

A life long adventure — something genuinely interesting to work toward
A life long adventure — something genuinely interesting to work toward

Drucker: my life as a knowledge worker

… I resolved that if I ever reached an advanced age, I would not give up but would keep on → continue

… I have done many things that I hope the gods will not notice, but I have always known that one has to strive for perfection even if only the gods notice → continue

… So I began to force myself to study afternoons and evenings: international relations and international law; the history of social and legal institutions; finance; and so on → continue

… Annual performance review → continue

Since then I have set aside two weeks every summer in which to review my work during the preceding year, beginning with the things I did well but could or should have done better, down to the things I did poorly and the things I should have done but did not do.

I decide what my priorities should be in my consulting work, in my writing, and in my teaching.

I have never once truly lived up to the plan I make each August, but it has forced me to live up to Verdi’s injunction to strive for perfection, even though “it has always eluded me” and still does

… The new job / new assignment → continue

Since then, when I have a new assignment, I ask myself the question, “What do I need to do, now that I have a new assignment, to be effective?

… Write down what you expect to happen and then test it nine months later → continue

… What do you want to be remembered for? → continue

A century of social transformation

Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey
  • The Rise of the Knowledge Worker
    • The new jobs require a good deal of formal education and the ability to acquire and to apply theoretical and analytical knowledge
    • They require a different approach to work and a different mind-set
    • Above all they require a habit of continuous learning
    • Displaced industrial workers thus cannot simply move into knowledge work or services work the way displaced farmers and displaced domestic workers moved into industrial work
  • The Emerging Knowledge Society
    • Overview
      • And even if outnumbered by other groups, knowledge workers will be the group that gives the emerging knowledge society its character, its leadership, its social profile.
      • And in their characteristics, their social position, their values, and their expectations, they differ fundamentally from any group in history that has ever occupied the leading, let alone the dominant, position.
      • But even if the knowledge itself is quite primitive, it is knowledge that only formal education can provide.
      • The first implication of this is that education will become the center of the knowledge society, and schooling its key institution.
      • In fact, it may not be too fanciful to anticipate that the acquisition and distribution of formal knowledge will come to occupy the place in the politics of the knowledge society that acquisition and distribution of property and income have occupied in the two or three centuries that we have come to call the Age of Capitalism.
      • Paradoxically, this may not necessarily mean that the school as we know it will become more important.
      • We can also predict with high probability that we will redefine what it means to be an “educated person.”
      • Increasingly, an “educated person” will be somebody who has learned how to learn and who throughout his or her lifetime continues learning, and especially learning in and through formal education.
      • This society in which knowledge workers dominate is in danger of a new “class conflict”: the conflict between the large minority of knowledge workers and the majority of people who will make their living through traditional ways, either by manual work, whether skilled or unskilled, or by services work, whether skilled or unskilled.
      • The productivity of knowledge work—still abysmally low—will predictably become the economic challenge of the knowledge society.
      • On it will depend the competitive position of every single country, every single industry, every single institution within society.
      • The productivity of the non-knowledge services worker will increasingly become the social challenge of the knowledge society.
      • On it will depend the ability of the knowledge society to give decent incomes, and with them dignity and status, to non-knowledge people.
      • No society in history has faced these challenges.
      • Another implication is that the performance of an individual, an organization, an industry, a country, in acquiring and applying knowledge will increasingly become the key competitive factor—for career and earnings opportunities of the individuals; for the performance, perhaps even the survival, of the individual organization; for an industry; and for a country.
      • The knowledge society will inevitably become far more competitive than any society we have yet known—for the simple reason that with knowledge being universally accessible, there are no excuses for non-performance.
      • There will be no “poor” countries.
      • There will only be ignorant countries.
      • And the same will be true for individual companies, individual industries, and individual organizations of any kind It will be true for the individual, too.
      • I have been speaking of knowledge.
      • But the proper term is knowledges.
      • For the knowledge of the knowledge society is fundamentally different from what was considered knowledge in earlier societies, and in fact, from what is still widely considered knowledge.
      • In the knowledge society, however, knowledge basically exists only in application.
      • Whatever the base, knowledge in application is specialized.
      • It is always specific, and therefore, not applicable to anything else.
      • The central workforce in the knowledge society will, therefore, consist of highly specialized people.
      • In fact, it is a mistake to speak of “generalists.”
      • Knowledge in application is effective only when it is specialized.
      • Indeed, it is more effective the more highly specialized it is.
      • It demands for the first time in history that people with knowledge take responsibility for making themselves understood by people who do not have the same knowledge base.
      • It requires that people learn—and preferably early—how to assimilate into their own work-specialized knowledges from other areas and other disciplines.
    • How Knowledges Work
      • That knowledge in the knowledge society has to be highly specialized to be productive implies two new requirements:
        • Knowledge workers work in teams
        • Knowledge workers have to have access to an organization. If not employees they, at least, have to be affiliated with an organization.
      • With knowledge work being the more effective the more specialized it is, teams become the actual work unit rather than the individual himself.
      • We will have to learn to use different kinds of teams for different purposes.
      • We will have to learn to understand teams—and this is something to which, so far, very little attention has been paid.
      • The understanding of the performance capacities of different kinds of teams, their strengths, their limitations, the trade-offs between various kinds of teams—these considerations will increasingly become central concerns in the management of people.
      • The individual knowledge worker will also have to learn something that today practically no one has learned: how to switch from one kind of team to another; how to integrate himself or herself into teams; what to expect of a team; and, in turn, what to contribute to a team.
      • The ability to diagnose what kind of team a certain kind of knowledge work requires for full effectiveness, and the ability, then, to organize such a team and integrate oneself into it, will increasingly become a requirement for effectiveness as a knowledge worker.
      • So far, it is not taught or learned anyplace (except in a few research labs).
      • So far, very few executives in any kind of organization even realize that it is their job, to a large extent, to decide what kind of team is needed for a given situation, how to organize it, and how to make it effective.
      • We are not even in the very early stages of work on teams, their characteristics, their specifications, their performance characteristics, and their appraisal.
      • Equally important is the second implication of the fact that knowledge workers are, of necessity, specialists: the need for them to work as members of an organization.
      • It is only the organization that can provide the basic continuity that knowledge workers need to be effective.
      • It is only the organization that can convert the specialized knowledge of the knowledge worker into performance.
      • By itself, specialized knowledge yields no performance.
      • But for the majority of knowledge workers it will be as employees of an organization—full-time or part-time—whether a government agency, a hospital, a university, a business, a labor union, any of hundreds of others.
      • In the knowledge society, it is not the individual who performs.
      • The individual is a cost center rather than a performance center.
      • It is the organization that performs.
    • The Employee Society
      • The knowledge society is an employee society.
      • Only late in the nineteenth century did the factory rather than the owner become the employer.
      • Knowledge workers will be both “employees” who have a “boss” and “bosses” who have “employees.”
      • Organizations, in other words, are not true collectives.
      • They are tools, that is, a means to an end.
      • Most of us work in and for an organization, are dependent for our effectiveness and equally for our living on access to an organization, whether as an organization’s employee or as provider of services to an organization—as a lawyer, for instance, or a freight forwarder.
      • And more and more of these supporting services to organizations are, themselves, organized as organizations.
      • The knowledge society is a society of organizations in which practically every single social task is being performed in and through an organization.
    • What Is an Employee?
      • Most knowledge workers will spend most if not all of their working life as “employees.”
      • But collectively, they are the only “capitalists”; increasingly, through their pension funds and through their other savings (e. g., in the United States through mutual funds), the employees own the means of production.
      • In traditional economics (and by no means only in Marxist economics), there is a sharp distinction between the “wage fund”—all of which went into consumption—and the “capital fund.”
      • And most social theory of industrial society is based, one way or another, on the relationship between the two, whether in conflict or in necessary and beneficial cooperation and balance.
      • In the knowledge society, the two merge.
      • Increasingly, the true investment in the knowledge society is not in machines and tools.
      • It is in the knowledge of the knowledge worker.
      • Without it, the machines, no matter how advanced and sophisticated, are unproductive.
      • The market researcher needs a computer.
      • But increasingly this is the researcher’s own personal computer, and a cheap tool the market researcher takes along wherever he or she goes.
      • And the true “capital equipment” of market research is the knowledge of markets, of statistics, and of the application of market research to business strategy, which is lodged between the researchers’ ears and is their exclusive and inalienable property.
      • The surgeon needs the operating room of the hospital and all of its expensive capital equipment.
      • But the surgeon’s true capital investment are the twelve or fifteen years of training and the resulting knowledge which the surgeon takes from one hospital to the next.
      • In either case, it is the knowledge investment that determines whether the employee is productive or not, rather than the tools, machines, and capital the organization furnishes.
      • In the knowledge society the most probable assumption—and certainly the assumption on which all organizations have to conduct their affairs—is that they need the knowledge worker far more than the knowledge worker needs them.
      • It is the organization’s job to market its knowledge jobs so as to obtain knowledge workers in adequate quantity and superior quality.
      • The relationship increasingly is one of interdependence with the knowledge worker having to learn what the organization needs, but with the organization also having to learn what the knowledge worker needs, requires, and expects.
      • Because its work is based on knowledge, the knowledge organization is altogether not one of superiors and subordinates, but of colleagues.
      • The prototype is the symphony orchestra.
      • There is no higher knowledge and no lower knowledge.
      • The knowledge of the knowledge society, precisely because it is knowledge only when applied in action, derives its rank and standing from the situation and not from its knowledge content.
      • In the knowledge society, knowledges are tools and, as such, dependent for the importance and position on the task to be performed.
      • One additional conclusion: Because the knowledge society perforce has to be a society of organizations, its central and distinctive organ is management.
        • All of them require management—whether they use the term or not.
        • All managers do the same things whatever the business of their organization.
        • All of them have to bring people—each of them possessing a different knowledge—together for joint performance.
        • All of them have to make human strengths productive in performance and human weaknesses irrelevant.
        • All of them have to think through what are “results” in the organization—and have then to define objectives.
        • All of them are responsible to think through what I call the “theory of the business,” that is, the assumptions on which the organization bases its performance and actions, and equally, the assumptions which organizations make to decide what things not to do.
        • All of them require an organ that thinks through strategies, that is, the means through which the goals of the organization become performance.
        • All of them have to define the values of the organization, its system of rewards and punishments, and with its spirit and its culture.
        • In all of them, managers need both the knowledge of management as work and discipline, and the knowledge and understanding of the organization itself, its purposes, its values, its environment and markets, its core competencies.
        • No function in history has emerged as fast as management and managers have in the last fifty to sixty years, and surely none has had such worldwide sweep in such a short period.
        • Management, in most business schools, is still taught as a bundle of techniques, such as the technique of budgeting.
        • To be sure, management, like any other work, has its own tools and its own techniques.
        • The essence of management is to make knowledges productive.
        • Management, in other words, is a social function.
        • And in its practice, management is truly a “liberal art.”
    • The Social Sector
  • Knowledge Economy and Knowledge Polity
  • Conclusion: The Priority Tasks—The Need for Social and Political Innovations
    • The Age of Social Transformations is not over yet
    • And the challenges looming ahead may be more serious and more daunting still than those posed by the social transformations that have already happened, the social transformations of the twentieth century
    • Yet we will not even have a chance to resolve these new and looming problems of tomorrow unless we first address the challenges posed by the developments that are already accomplished facts, the developments reported in the earlier sections of this essay
  • Bonus material → starting here
    • Men of high effectiveness are conspicuous by their absence in executive jobs
    • Creating Tomorrow’s Society Of Citizens
    • Refining the Mission Statement
    • The importance of financial measurements and financial results
    • Disintegration
    • Trade Lessons from the World Economy
    • The manager and the moron

Career responsibility in The Daily Drucker

  • Take Responsibility for Your Career
  • Managing Oneself
  • Managing Oneself: Revolution in Society
  • Focus on Contribution
  • Managing Oneself: What to Contribute?
  • Individual Development
    • The person with the most responsibility for an individual’s development is the person himself—not the boss.
    • The first priority for one’s own development is to strive for excellence.
      • Workmanship counts, not just because it makes such a difference in the quality of the job done, but because it makes such a difference in the person doing the job.
    • Expect the job to provide stimulus only if you work on your own self-renewal, only if you create the excitement, the challenge, the transformation that makes an old job enriching over and over again.
      • The most effective road to self-renewal is to look for the unexpected success and run with it.
    • The critical factor for success is accountability—holding yourself accountable.
      • Everything else flows from that.
      • The important thing is not that you have rank, but that you have responsibility.
      • To be accountable, you must take the job seriously enough to recognize: I’ve got to grow up to the job.
      • By focusing on accountability, people take a bigger view of themselves.
  • Self-Renewal
  • Enjoying Work
  • Reinvent Yourself
  • A Noncompetitive Life

Try a page search for information. Also see information challenges — life altering

Managing Oneself — the book

You are the CEO of your life

Two hundred years ago social tasks were being done in all societies by a local community—primarily, of course, by the family.

Very few, if any, of these tasks are being done by the old communities anymore.

Nor would they be capable of doing them, considering that they no longer have control of their members or even a firm hold over them.

People no longer stay where they were born, neither in terms of geography, nor in terms of social position and status.

By definition, a knowledge society is a society of mobility.

And all the social functions of the old communities, whether performed well or poorly (and most were performed very poorly, indeed), presupposed that the individual and the family would stay put.

“The family is where they have to take you in,” said a nineteenth-century adage; and community, to repeat, was fate.

To leave the community meant becoming an outcast, perhaps even an outlaw.

But the essence of a knowledge society is mobility in terms of where one lives, mobility in terms of what one does, mobility in terms of one’s affiliation.

This very mobility means that in the knowledge society, social challenges and social tasks multiply.

People no longer have “roots.”

People no longer have a “neighborhood” that controls where they live, what they do, and indeed, what their “problems” are allowed to be.

The knowledge society, by definition, is a competitive society; with knowledge accessible to everyone, everyone is expected to place himself or herself, to improve himself or herself, and to have aspirations.

It is a society in which many more people than ever before can be successful.

But it is therefore, by definition, also a society in which many more people than ever before can fail, or at least can come in second.

And if only because the application of knowledge to work has made developed societies so much richer than any earlier society could even dream of becoming, the failures, whether poverty or alcoholism, battered women or juvenile delinquents, are seen as failures of society.

In traditional society they were taken for granted.

In the knowledge society they are an affront, not just to the sense of justice, but equally to the competence of society and its self-respect.

… snip, snip …

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.

… snip, snip …

The conclusion bears repeating: Do not try to change yourself—you are unlikely to succeed.

But work hard to improve the way you perform.

And try not to take on work you cannot perform or will only perform poorly (calendarize this — have a pre-thought plan and fool-proof response)

The new assignment offer response requires preparation — because this is who I am

Book contents begin here

Key attention areas

  • What Are My Strengths?
  • How Do I Perform?
  • What Are My Values?
  • Where Do I Belong?
  • What Should I Contribute?
  • Responsibility For Relationships
  • The Second Half Of Your Life (see below)

Managing the boss: the key to your effectiveness

How To Guarantee Non-Performance

The Post-Capitalist Executive

List of action areas

Managing in a Post-Capitalist Society

List of action areas

The Essential Drucker

… there is in the West a growing number of people who, while not themselves executives, have come to see management as an area of public interest;

… there are also an increasing number of students in colleges and universities who, while not necessarily management students, see an understanding of management as part of a general education;

and, finally, there are a large and rapidly growing number of mid-career managers and professionals who are flocking to advanced-executive programs, both in universities and in their employing organizations.


1. Management as Social Function and Liberal Art  
2. The Dimensions of Management  
3. The Purpose and Objectives of a Business  

The profit motive and its offspring maximization of profits are just as irrelevant to the function of a business, the purpose of a business, and the job of managing a business.
In fact, the concept is worse than irrelevant: it does harm.
It is a major cause of the misunderstanding of the nature of profit in our society and of the deep-seated hostility to profit, which are among the most dangerous diseases of an industrial society.
It is largely responsible for the worst mistakes of public policy—in this country as well as in Western Europe—which are squarely based on the failure to understand the nature, function, and purpose of business enterprise.
And it is in large part responsible for the prevailing belief that there is an inherent contradiction between profit and a company’s ability to make a social contribution.
Actually, a company can make a social contribution only if it is highly profitable.
What Executives Should Remember

4. What the Nonprofits Are Teaching Business (find in Management, Revised Edition  
5. Social Impacts and Social Problems  
6. Management's New Paradigms  
7. The Information Executives Need Today  
8. Management by Objectives and Self-Control (see below)  
9. Picking People—The Basic Rules  
The following three chapters are from Innovation and Entrepreneurship  
10. The Entrepreneurial Business  
11. The New Venture  
12. Entrepreneurial Strategies


13. Effectiveness Must Be Learned (see the Effective Executive)  
14. Focus on Contribution  
15. Know Your Strengths and Values  
16. Know Your Time  
17. Effective Decisions  
18. Functioning Communications  
19. Leadership as Work  
20. Principles of Innovation (see Innovation and Entrepreneurship)  
21. The Second Half of Your Life (also see Managing the Non-Profit Organization)  
22. The Educated Person


(also see Post-Capitalist Society)

23. A Century of Social Transformation — (From farmers and domestic servants to …) Emergence of Knowledge Society  
24. The Coming of Entrepreneurial Society  
25. Citizenship through the Social Sector (includes the need for community) (see Managing the Non-Profit Organization)  
26. From Analysis to Perception—The New Worldview.

About perception. Form and Function Connections: see chapters On Being the Right Size and On Being the Wrong Size in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices and others.

Afterword: The Challenge Ahead

The paradox of rapidly expanding economy and growing income inequality—the paradox that bedevils us now
Growing health care and education, possibly a shrinking market for goods and services
Center of power shifting to the consumer—free flow of information
Knowledge workers—expensive resource
Governments depending on managers and individuals

“Men of high effectiveness are conspicuous by their absence in executive jobs” → continue

High intelligence is common enough among executives.

Imagination is far from rare.

The level of knowledge tends to be high.

But there seems to be little correlation between a man’s effectiveness and his intelligence, his imagination, or his knowledge.

Brilliant men are often strikingly ineffectual; they fail to realize that the brilliant insight is not by itself achievement.

They never have learned that insights become effectiveness only through hard systematic work.

Conversely, in every organization there are some highly effective plodders.

While others rush around in the frenzy and busyness which very bright people so often confuse with ‘creativity,’ the plodder puts one foot in front of the other and gets there first, like the tortoise in the old fable.”

The Effective Executive

Chapters title

What makes an executive effective

Management Cases — Revised Edition

Chapter titles

The second half of your life

Ten Principles for Life II

Provide a list

Wisdom of Peter Drucker

Provide a list

The world is full of options

Bob Buford’s halftime work

The organization worlds ahead of us

The alternative to autonomous institutions that function and perform is not freedom. It is totalitarian tyranny → continue

Abandonment → continue

“Increasingly, organizations will have to plan abandonment rather than try to prolong the life of a successful policy: practice, or product — … only a few large Japanese companies have faced up to”

Organization efforts: problems or opportunities → continue

More thoughts on organization effortscontinue

Conditions for survival

From analysis to perception: the new world view

Making the future

Peter Drucker sets us straight — jobs, debt, globalization, and recession

Further exploration paths

Your future is between your ears

The big, big picture

Books by Drucker

Druckerisms — future directed concepts

“No one yet addresses workers as ’fellow managers’—I hope no one ever will. Yet this is the goal.”

“High tech is indeed the leading edge, but there cannot be an edge without a knife.”

“Planning is frequently misunderstood as making future decisions, but decisions exist only in the present.”

PeterDrucker said looking at demographics was one way to see “the future that has already happened.”

“Management’s duty is to preserve the assets of the institution in its care.”

“The first lesson business executives can learn from successful nonprofits is to begin with mission.”

“Information is what holds an organization together and information is what makes individual knowledge workers effective.”

“Eventually continuous improvements lead to fundamental change.”

“To define the meaningful outside of the organization is the CEO’s first task.”

Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.

“No business is ever secure in its leadership position.”

“Amazingly few people know how they get things done.”

Marshall McLuhan, 1964: “If it works, it’s obsolete.”

“The key to running an effective meeting is to decide in advance what kind of meeting it will be.”

“Businesses, especially large ones, have little choice but to become information-based.”

“Whenever I work with a person, I try to find out to what the individual attributes his or her success.”

“What has changed, and changed profoundly, is our awareness of change.”

“Today is always the result of actions and decisions taken yesterday.”

“The unexpected is often the best source of innovation.”

“What we measure and how we measure determine what will be considered relevant, and … thereby … what we do.”

“You must take integrating responsibility for putting yourself into the big picture.”

Don’t ask customers what products they want. Ask about needs.

The man who fails to perform must be relocated or let go. “Management owes this … to the man himself.”

“Innovating organizations spend neither time nor resources on defending yesterday.”

“To make a living is no longer enough. Work also has to make a life.”

“To be effective, an innovation has to be simple, and it has to be focused.”

When people “talk of ‘implementing’ instead of ‘doing,’ and of ‘finalizing’ instead of ‘finishing,’ the organization is already running a fever.”

“Information is data endowed with relevance and purpose.”

“A manager has the task of creating a true whole that is larger than the sum of its parts.” Operacy the thinking that goes into doing

“There are constant pressures toward unproductive and wasteful time-use.”

“Neither our concepts nor our tools are adequate for the control of operations or for managerial control.”

The uniqueness and value of people should be cherished and honored

“People are effective because they say ”no,“ not because they say ”yes,“ because they say ”this isn’t for me."

“A healthy business, a healthy university, a healthy hospital cannot exist in a sick society.”

Notes from The Effective Executive

Notes prepared by

“Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results.

By themselves, they only set limits to what can be attained.” The Effective Executive, page 2

There is more to achieving goals than intellectual capability.

In The Effective Executive, Peter F. Drucker teaches us how to master the skill of effectiveness.

He considers effectiveness an essential skill for an executive to develop.

An executive is someone who gets things done, a leader.

Developing leadership skills is useful whether you head a large organization or only manage yourself.

Effectiveness is getting the right things done, not wasting time on things that are not working.

There is no correlation between intelligence, creativity or personality traits and with the ability to be effective.

We are not naturally effective, it is a learned skill.

Drucker explains in detail how to do certain things to become effective.

Of all the actionable ideas in this book, prioritizing stood out as a skill I continuously develop.

Setting priorities seems easy—there are many possibilities that would bring positive results.

For instance, there are thousands of charities worthy of our donations but we have a limited amount of money to give.

There are also thousands of great books to read but the time it would take to read them would span several lifetimes.

Often we end up making quick and convenient decisions that fill our time and budget, but we get mediocre results.

How do we make the best choices?

Concentrate time, effort, and resources

“The need to concentrate is grounded both in the nature of the executive job and in the nature of man.

Several reasons for this should already be apparent: There are always more important contributions to be made than there is time available to make them.”- The Effective Executive, page 100

Drucker considers concentration the secret to effectiveness – if there is one.

He is referring to optimizing performance by concentrating time, effort, and resources.

He says the secret to getting things done is doing them one at a time.

He acknowledges people work in different ways, but to accomplish more and get it done faster we need to focus.

It is more effective to block our time instead of multitasking.

Once one task is complete, priorities may change so the next priority should be set after achieving the current objective.

When we concentrate and reduce our list of ten things to one, it forces us to disregard the attractive but useless pursuits.

It bolsters our courage to choose what is meaningful and pursue that opportunity.

Drucker suggests thinking of the future instead of the past, focusing on opportunities instead of problems, following your own direction instead of the popular direction, and aiming high instead of choosing the safe and easy thing to do.

Our perceptions can be deceiving; he says it is usually just as risky and uncertain to make the “safe” choice and do something small, as it is to do something big and new.

I think it is sometimes less risky to try something big and new especially when the small safe choices have had suboptimal results.

If we do not have the courage to step outside our comfort zone, we cannot know what is possible.

Then we lose the possibility big or small and we are stuck with the same results we always get.

Our loss is greater if we chose not to take a bigger risk because the rewards for success are also greater.

Posteriorities (decide what not to do)

“Most executives have learned that what one postpones, one actually abandons.

A good many of them suspect that there is nothing less desirable than to take up later a project one has postponed when it first came up.”- The Effective Executive, page 110

Drucker calls the things we decide not to pursue “posteriorities.”

He acknowledges these are unpleasant.

One person’s top priority might be another person’s posteriority.

It is tempting just to do a little of everything so everyone is happy.

Also, we cannot predict what the next big thing will be and if we decide not to do something, we may miss an important opportunity.

If we take it off the agenda, the timing will probably be wrong in the future even if the project would work if we did it now.

We may remember a relationship that might have been if only we had pursued it years ago or an education goal that we had to abandon and could have been a promising career but would not be useful now.

We cannot go back and change our decisions so sometimes it seems like we should pursue all opportunities.

There will always be things we did not do that could have been successful.

We forget they might also have been unsuccessful.

When we spread our resources thin and try to do everything because of our fear of missing out or making some people unhappy, we really miss much more.

We miss the ability to pursue the opportunity available now if we concentrate our time, effort, and resources on that one thing.

Crisis generates pressure, not priorities

“If the pressures rather than the executive are allowed to make the decision, the important tasks will predictably be sacrificed.

Typically, there will be no time for the most time-consuming part of any task, the conversion of decision into action.”- The Effective Executive, page 109

Success comes from getting things done, not from having a great plan.

Without action all the time, effort and resources that went into the plan are for nothing.

Often yesterday’s crisis imposes on our priorities and we postpone today’s work, which means we will not get the results we want tomorrow.

When we let pressure from a crisis divert our concentration from our priorities, they become posteriorities.

When we abandon a project, we might not begin again because the time of relevance has passed.

Crisis generates pressure that is immediate, urgent, visible and focused in the past.

Often crisis is internal, within an organization or individual, it is not observable from the outside and often not in touch with reality.

It overshadows reality where the results happen, where things are relevant, and where the opportunity for the future is.

Successes come from not letting crisis control and distort our priorities.

The New Year is approaching and it is traditionally a time to set goals and priorities.

Drucker talks about deciding to do something or deciding not to but never making a half decision.

When we decide to do something, we do it in spite of the inevitable crisis that begs for our attention.

Decide there is never a better time to take action and make consistent progress.

The competition will never disappear.

We do not need to wait for a new idea to cash in on there are many unique ways to approach old ideas for better results.

We can take advantage of the strengths and resources we already have.

Decide not to give into fear.

Decide to concentrate our time, effort, and resources on pursuits we know have value.

When we know we have a valuable goal it is easier to communicate it to others.

When everyone’s goals are in line, the synergy of the team generates more value and better results than any one of the individuals is capable of alone.

If you work alone, create an alliance of supporters, who share your vision, they are your team.

Most importantly, decide to take action and concentrate your effort on your goal.


“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 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 toward unimagined futures.

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 figure out a coping plan for 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 point



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

Type the following in their search box ↓

your search text



What needs doing?




Donations: Please click the button below to make a donation through PayPal.

Other forms of PayPal payment besides donations

Why donate?

Copyright 2001 2005 2007 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 © All rights reserved | bobembry | bob embry | “time life navigation” © | “life TIME investment system” © | “career evolution” © | “life design” © | “organization evolution” © | “brainroads toward tomorrows” © | “foundations for future directed decisions” © | #rlaexpdotcom © | rlaexpdomcom © = real life adventures + exploration

#rlaexpdotcom introduction breadcrumb trail …