Doers vs. Dreamers

Rick Wartzman

In his latest column for Bloomberg Businessweek online, Drucker Institute Executive Director Rick Wartzman takes off from our recent Dx post about Standard & Poor’s and “the perils of making predictions.” In his piece, Wartzman explores the course that Peter Drucker recommended instead of forecasting. It’s smart strategic planning.

“The question that faces the strategic decision-maker is not what his organization should do tomorrow,” Drucker wrote. “It is, ‘What do we have to do today to be ready for an uncertain tomorrow?’ The question is not what will happen in the future. It is, ‘What futurity do we have to build into our present thinking and doing, what time spans do we have to consider, and how do we use this information to make a rational decision now?’”

Wartzman notes that “the real key, whether preparing for 10 years down the road or 100, is to get moving right away.”

“It is meaningless to speak of short-range and long-range plans,” he quotes Drucker as saying. “There are plans that lead to action today—and they are true plans, true strategic decisions.” On the other hand, “there are plans that talk about action tomorrow—they are dreams, if not pretexts for nonthinking, nonplanning, nondoing.”