If you assessed the way your organization makes decisions, how much of what you’re deciding to do is about right now…and how much is about tomorrow?  Let me put it another way.  How much of what you’re determining to do is about today’s agenda and how much is about tomorrow’s?

Think about the significance of this quote from Peter Drucker:

"The performance of a business today is largely a result of the performance of management in years past.  Performance in management, therefore, means in large measure doing a good job of preparing today’s business for the future (March 20, The Daily Drucker)."

See where I’m going?  If you believe Drucker is right, how much of your day-to-day decision making should be about getting ready for tomorrow?

One challenge for most of us is that we didn’t have this in place yesterday!  So…we’re now trying to figure out how to fix the way that it is!

I’ve used Glen Heimstra’s diagram a number of times to talk about getting from here to there…but there’s a subtle truth to it that doesn’t come up every time.  It is that in the same way your probably future is a reflection of what things will be like down the road if nothing changes…CATCH THIS…your present is actually the probable future of sometime in the past.  See what I’m saying?  In other words, if we rolled back the videotape of your organization 5 or 10 years we could determine why things are the way they are today.

What does that have to do with Drucker’s quote?  Your future is being determined right now by the decisions you’re making…that will affect your capability to capitalize on tomorrow.  You’ll either be prepared for it or you won’t.

So…which is it?  How much of your current decision-making is about tomorrow…and is it enough?

Managing for the Future
  • Mark,
    Yes, very valuable insight to think of it in those terms…..obvious really but when put in those immediate terms…..today is the probably future of sometime in the past….it slaps you in the head….duh! Melissa