Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.
How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought:
Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth.
The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Saturday, June 08, 2002
Hoodoo You Know, What’s That Calling?
Chapter One: Basecamp
By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories
Journal Entry, Day 2
While Sun Tzu wrote about secrets to winning wars, CEOs apply his teachings to the way they conduct their business – how to be a good leader -- how to outflank their opponents. Waiting for inspiration in a Sun Tzu frame of mind, I met his modern day equivalent quite by accident -- a coach known locally simply as Grey Owl.
Feeling a lot like David Carradine’s Grasshopper seated at the knees of his master, I asked the first question.
Journal of 2020 Foresight: What is about the core of Sun Tzu's teachings that others have found so profound? How does his perspective reveal hidden secrets for so many career changers and job seekers and at the same time for so many military and business leaders?
Grey Owl: Ah, you must be speaking about the elusive Tao. The smooth way things tend to operate in nature. When events are manipulated, they are not Tao, and outcomes are dangerously uncontrolled.
J2020F: What Phil Jackson calls “playing in the moment.”
Grey Owl: Perhaps. To have the Tao at work in a situation, or a strategy, is considered the greatest of advantages, since the operation becomes effortless and the results predictable. It is as though all the forces of nature are working toward one's own objective
J2020F: For the Lakers it is “having the game come to them,” as Phil says.
Grey Owl: Perhaps.
J2020F: I can see I want effortless and predictable results, especially during this time of rampant confusion. I mean, who doesn’t? But I don’t understand how to achieve it.
Grey Owl: Look around you, what do you see?
J2020F: I see those Hoodoos -- that pillar of rocks over there.
Grey Owl: And what do you know about them and about the story of this area?
J2020F: Well, I picked up a little information. They began to form 10 million years ago when the earth created and moved the massive blocks called Table Cliffs and Paunsaugunt plateaus. Table Cliff rocks now tower over the same layers 2000 feet below.
While native American people were present in the region about 12,000 years ago, little remains to describe what they experienced, how they lived, what had happened to them.
Eventually Paiutes moved into the region once occupied by the Anasazi and Fremont cultures.
They lived there until settlers and explores arrived in the 1870s when John Wesley Powell and Captain Clarence E. Dutton explored the area. The Paiutes described the hoodoos as legend people who had been turned to stone by Coyote.
Grey Owl: Now look up, what do you see?
J2020F: The sky, the cloud formations.
Grey Owl: And last night as you gazed into the night?
J2020F: Billions of stars, the Milky Way. I could imagine myself being the Hubble telescope and peering out into our galaxy and into other galaxies, and multiple universes, perhaps. And then looking down on me standing here on “this thin blue marble.”
Grey Owl: You saw evidence of the laws of nature -- both human nature and nature at large. Since all of life is subject to these laws, whether they are enacted microscopically or sociologically, understanding these laws and then applying them is a way to triumph over life's conflicts-- from the interpersonal to the international.
J2020F: You mean the world is a complete and interdependent system that must be preserved. So no one part of the system can triumph if it destroys another part, for this will damage everyone.
Do you mean in a similar way that the body's immune system works? Designed to fight off invaders, suppress insurgency, overwhelm malignancies, and remove hostile agents -- all without damaging the supporting system?
Grey Owl: Yes. Within such a system, tactics can be used to overcome psychological obstacles, environmental discord, personal opposition, and organizational contention.
J2020F: Ok, but when do I learn how to apply them?
Grey Owl: Not until you finish your work here.
J2020F: What do you mean?
Grey Owl: Why did you come here?
J2020F: I’m on vacation.
Grey Owl: No, why did you seek my coaching?
J2020F: I’m stuck, I guess. The game isn’t coming to me. I’m at a cross roads in my life and I don’t know which path to take. These choices used to be easier when I was younger.
I don’t know whether to change positions in my same organization or to change organizations in the same field?
Whether to change careers or to grow in my same job and simply moonlight?
Whether to start a business. Or to buy a business or to buy a franchise?
Maybe I should develop a consulting practice or pursue a portfolio career?
Whether to live off my investments and freelance to supplement my income?
Grey Owl: You experience a conflict in yourself and in your environment.
J2020F: Yes. I guess so.
Grey Owl: The world is a place full of interesting options for those who plan to fully explore their potential.
As Sun Tzu counseled, when confronted with an obstacle -- a crippling character flaw, an unfulfilling occupation, or a debilitating interpersonal relationship—the creative minority develop a strategy to overcome that conflict and emerge victorious from its influence.
They refuse to compromise their hopes or limit their opportunities. A game of chess cannot be resolved through compromise -- nor can poor health, or a demanding career, or a destructive relationship. These are life-damaging situations that must be and can be unconditionally overcome.
Is this why you seek my counsel?
J2020F: Yes. Please tell me what to do.
Grey Owl: Our time is up. I must go.
J2020F: Wait. You haven’t told me what to do or when I will see you again.
Grey Owl: This is the all about the game of life. You must find a way to win by beginning when no goal is given. By creating a purpose for your own journey. By setting a course that also serves other in their journey. And, finally, by creating better opportunities for those who follow.
J2020F. Great, more riddles. But what do I do?
Grey Owl: Look around you. Record in a journal what you see. Wait for your inner voice to tell you.
J2020F: Tell me what? Wait come back.
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