In Technology, Management and Society*, Peter Drucker describes decision making as
“… essentially a time machine which synchronizes into one present a great number of divergent time-spans.”
“Our approach today,” he goes on, “still tends towards the making of plans for something we will decide to do in the future. This may be a very entertaining exercise, but it is a futile one.”
Incredibly, Drucker first made this statement to a management conference in 1957! And yet, 50 years on, the notion that present and future decision making are separated in time still dominates management thinking; the former focusing on current operations and the latter on the visions, strategies and plans intended to realise the desired future.
So how do Drucker’s insights on the time dimension of decision making and the need to focus on the present play into current thinking about the dynamics of organizations?