Keith Cowan delineates four time perspectives of managers (historical,
present, future or linear). The question was, "How do we get managers to
put as much value on the long-term (future) consequences of their actions
as they do the short-term (present) consequences?"
Perhaps I suffer from "The whole world looks like a nail" syndrome, but to
me this issue of appreciation of the future is one more example of
fragmentation. To make a sweeping generalization, the issues of our time
tend to fall under the heading of specialization become fragmentation.
Anomie and inability to readily adapt to new environments are symptoms of
departments being run as separate units; present-tense focus is a symptom
of the reductionist approach applied to time: today is separate from
For me, time is too rarely appreciated as one of the most critical
dimensions of a "holistic" approach or appreciation. Even our lives are
only part of some longer whole -- the unfolding of processes and
potentialities we can appreciate only in part.
-- Ron Davison (RonDavison@aol.com), video producer of "A Change in Thinking: Systems Thinking, Learning & Intellectual Capital," available thru ETC, 1-800-747-6569.
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