Written by Barrie Bramley & Keith Coats.
As a leader within any industry, one of their key result indicators surely has to be a concern and interest in the future. Leaders are often the ones who carry the responsibility of ‘looking out of the window’, removing themselves from the hustle and bustle of every day operations, in order to gain some perspective of the world to come. It has been said that, ‚The future very rarely hits us between the eyes; it hits us in the temple.‛ Surely sufficient motivation to be investing time, energy and resource looking toward tomorrow!
In his book, ‚The Dream Society‛, Rolf Jensen maps out a helpful time-line that ends with an interesting observation for those of us tasked with preparation for the future. He suggests that human history is roughly 100 000 years old, give or take a day here or there. In those 100 000 years there have been four main societal types. The title of his book is his suggestion of the fifth societal type currently being ushered in.
Essentially 90 000 years of human history can be said to have been owned by the Hunter-Gatherers. Nomadic people living from day to day with a time horizon of one or two days. All of their senses were needed for survival. ‚Experience was important, therefore the oldest member of the tribe, the one who had experienced the most springs and seen the most rainy seasons, was usually chosen as leader. This way of life still exists in isolated parts of the world.‛
Around 10 000 years ago agriculture emerged. This led to the need for mastery over nature. ‚The farm now comprised the production unit. Family life and production took place under the same roof.‛ The majority of our world still perpetuates this way of life. If lived in the traditional way this way of life possesses no concept of future, time simply brings on the changing of the seasons. Experience in this context remains an important leadership quality. It was only at the end of the 19th century that saw agricultures development accelerate.
Just over 250 years ago the world saw the birth of the Industrial Society. The industrial society gave birth to the idea of progress (time was no longer cyclical but linear) � the notion that things were bound to develop along an even path leading ever onward and upward, with the future inevitably outshining the present. It also engendered the inbred faith that humankind was capable of creating its own future.
Just 20-30 years ago the Information Society was born. In the 1960’s desk jobs began to out-number production jobs, and knowledge begins to become more important than capital.
‚A little bit of Monica by my side, a little bit of Veronica‌.‛ Not quite, but the question remains, what can we expect of tomorrow? From Hunter-Gatherer to Information Society in 100 000 easy years, except that the time between each societal type has been radically reduced.
90 000 years � 10 000 years
10 000 years � 250 years
250 years � 30 years
30 years – ?
Rolf Jensen draws his own conclusions, in his book. What are your conclusions? As a leader today what do you see as you look out the window? We read and hear it everywhere, ‚change is on its way.‛ If we accept that, then what do we need to do to prepare ourselves and our organisations to ensure we are on the forefront, and not playing catch-up?
Central to our own thinking within iSoc Solutions, is the belief that people’s behaviour is determined largely by how they perceive their world. Changing behaviour therefore, requires a change of perception. A simple illustration comes from a Butcher friend. His staff understand that, if they see themselves as meat cutters, then any advancement in their performance is going to come primarily in the area of cutting meat. The reality is that a Butcher (generally speaking) spends around 20% of their time cutting meat and 70% ensuring the customer has a world class shopping experience. (10% is spent dealing with ‚this & that‛ type trivia) When they understand that, then advancement in their performance means a direct improvement for the customer in the correct ratio.
Over the next few months we will be sending you, via our monthly FREE Leadership resource, some of the paradigm shifts happening in our world, and our take on how these may cause people to change their view on reality (their perception). We are not in a position to say what tomorrow will look like, but we do feel that we have an idea of what the possibilities might be.
# NOTE � TomorrowToday.biz specialises in working with the people within organisations to ensure that they have 2020 vision when it comes to how they see who they are and what they do. We have been very successful in our partnerships with our clients. If you are interested in speaking with us regarding how we can partner your organisation please contact us

TomorrowToday Global