John Naisbitt’s Mind Set! is divided into two main parts tied together by his common theme of seeing the future. The first half of the book outlines eleven “mindsets that the author has identified to help him better forecast the future and identify opportunities.
While many things change, most things remain constant
The news and media would have us believe that everything is changing. The biggest, brightest, most compelling stories make it to the forefront. However, life goes on for the majority of people and things are pretty constant.
Naisbitt counsels us to “distinguish between real and apparent change, basic shifts and fads, remembering that in the history of the world, most things remain constant.
The future is embedded in the present
Looking back it is easy to see how historical events shaped the future. For us today, we need to keep our eyes open and filter out the constant noise to identify what current events will really indicate future direction.
Focus on the score of the game
Use sports as the model for determining the outcome of business and politician decisions. Once a game is over, you know the score. It is final and the winner is identified. In politics and even business, people will try to distort the outcome to make them look favorable. Don’t get distracted by rhetoric.
Understand how powerful it is not to have to be right
Imagine how much more open you’ll be to new ideas and opportunities when you stop being so proud and stubborn!
See the future as a picture puzzle
Piecing together these mindset ideas will help you better identify future trends.
Don’t get so far ahead of the parade that people don’t know you’re in it
If your great idea is so far out there that it is impossible for people to understand, you’ll have a very slow adoption. By leading efforts of innovation, you need to keep your ideas close enough to the present that people can easily make the jump.
Resistance to change falls if benefits are real
Your job as the leader is to clearly communicate the benefits of change. Once your audience internalizes these concepts, they’ll drop their defenses and accept your ideas.
Things that we expect to happen always happen more slowly
Our expectations always seem to outpace the implementation timeline of those great ideas. Naisbitt states: “almost all change is evolutionary, not revolutionary.
You don’t get results by solving problems but by exploiting opportunities
Trying to solve the problem restricts your ability to think in the bigger picture. You’re stuck fixing the problems of the past instead of seeking the opportunities of tomorrow.
Don’t add unless you can subtract
Determine what is really important and if new issues arise, drop other things on your plate. Failure to keep the proper load will lead to under-performance in all areas.
Don’t forget the ecology of technology
New technologies should enable us. When something new is introduced, we should ask ourselves how things will improve or get worse. “What new opportunities does it present?
The second half of the book uses these mindsets to look at the future direction of our society as a whole, and specific regions like China and Europe.
Niasbitt forecasts the continued rise of China and the “mutually assured decline in Europe. Throughout the book, the author includes both historical and current events to help define and prove his points.
Buy a Copy – I particularly enjoyed the first half of Mind Set! where Naisbitt outlines his eleven mindsets. He artfully weaves personal stories and history together in discussing his points. I’d buy the book for his mindsets alone but if you like history and current events, the entire book is a relevant read as you look to the future.
Buy Mind Set! from Amazon.com.