The Big Moo – Re/imagining the future
Many have articulated a depressing “gloom and doom” vision of the future for America if we follow, or allow to be followed, a linear progression of our current situation and trajectory into the future. If we can clearly imagine an outcome that is highly probable, and highly undesirable, then why stay on the path?
People are used to thinking in a linear fashion. This is how they have projected the future referenced above. But what is needed is some non-linear thinking. A thinking in terms of discontinuities and disruptions to get us out of the linear path.
Is it possible? What does linear thinking make of the Caterpillar? Linear thinking says the Caterpillar, undisturbed, and continuing on its life-cycle path and trajectory will just be a bigger Caterpillar and eventually die a Caterpillar. But that is not what happens. The Caterpillar becomes a chrysalis and emerges as a butterfly.
The life-cycle of a Caterpillar is the best of nonlinearity – it is a series of discontinuities. It is a metamorphosis. Perhaps this is what we need to avoid the linear projection of the gloom and doom future based on our current situation.
Who will do it? In what new way do we need to think? What radical re/imaging of the future do we need? What will place us on the path to metamorphosis?
Excerpts from a contribution by Tom Peters in
The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable by the Group of 33
They say … my language is extreme.
I say … the times are extreme.
They say I’m extreme.
I say I’m a realist.
They say I demand too much.
I say they accept mediocrity & continuous improvement too
They say “We can’t handle this much change.”
I say “Your job and career are in jeopardy; what other options do
They say Brand You is not for everyone.
I say the alternative is unemployment.
They say “What’s wrong with a ‘good product’?”
I say Wal*Mart or China or both are about to eat your lunch. Why
can’t you provide instead a Fabulous Experience?
They say “Take a deep breath. Be calm.”
I say “Tell it to Wal*Mart. Tell it to China. Tell it to India. Tell it to
Dell. Tell it to Microsoft.”
They say the Web is a “useful tool.”
I say the Web changes everything. Now.
They say “We need an Initiative.”
I say “We need a Dream. And Dreamers.”
They say Great Design is “nice.”
I say Great Design is “necessary.”
They say “Plan it.”
I say “DO IT.”
They say “We need more steady, loyal employees.”
I say “WE NEED MORE FREAKS WHO ROUTINELY TELL THOSE ‘IN CHARGE’
TO TAKE A FLYING LEAP … BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.”
They say “We need Good People.”
I say “We need Quirky Talent.”
They say “We like people who, with steely determination, say, ‘I can make
I say “I love people who, with a certain maniacal gleam in their eye, perhaps
even a giggle, say, ‘I can turn the world upside down. Watch me!’”
They say “We must speed things up.”
I say “We must Radically change the Corporate Metabolism until Insane
Urgency becomes a Sacrament.”
They say, “Sure, we need ‘Change.’”
I say we need “REVOLUTION NOW.”
They say (acknowledge), “Okay, we need revolution.”
I say, “REVOLUTION.”
They say “fast follower.”
I say “battered and bruised leader.”
They say “Conglomerate & Imitate!”
I say “Create & Innovate!”
They say “Market share.”
I say “Market CREATION.”
They say “Improve & Maintain.”
I say “DESTROY & RE-IMAGINE.”
They say “We like words such as ‘calm’ … ‘certainty’ … ‘is.’”
I say “I like words/phrases such as ‘turbulent,’ ‘opportunity’ …
They say “Normal.”
I say “Weird.”
They say “Happy balance.”
I say “Creative Tension.”
They say they favor a “team” that works & lives in “harmony.”
I say “give me a raucous brawl among the most creative people
They say “Peace, brother.”
I say “Bruise my feelings. Flatten my ego. SAVE MY JOB.”
They say “Vanilla.”
I say “Cherry Garcia.”
They say “Basic Black.”
I say “TECHNICOLOR RULES!”
They say “Branding is for the likes of Nike.”
I say “Branding is for Everyone & Anyone with the Passion &
Tenacity to foist their Wonderful & Weird Point of View on
the world … and the New World’s (read: Web’s) power
allows-encourages such “silly” (until recently) visions-of-
ubiquity to become reality, perhaps overnight.”
They say we need “happy customers.”
I say “Give me pushy, needy, nasty, provocative customers.”
They say they want to partner with “best of breed.”
I say “Give me Coolest of Breed.”
They say we need “supply chain harmony.”
I say we need “supply chain Innovation.”
They say “We seek Harvard MBAs.”
I say I seek Certificate-free “PhDs” from the School of Hard
They say they want recruits with “spotless records.”
I say “the Spots are what matter most.”
They say “Integrity is important.”
I say “Tell the Unvarnished Truth, All the Time … or take a Long
They read Jim Collins and grok on “quiet, humble leaders.”
I say “Give me the Bold, the Brash, the Brassy, the Egocentric
Dreamers who, like Steve Jobs, ‘Dent the Universe.’”