Joe’s Journal: On Peter’s Prescience

“The important thing is to identify the ‘future that has already happened.'”

— Peter F. Drucker

I’ve investigated this phrase ‘future that has already happened,’ and it has a lineage. Peter Drucker thought a lot about the future, but so did others. He is well known for saying, “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” and if you Google the phrase, you’re bound to see Peter’s name high up in the results, but you’ll also see at least one other, and that is Alan Kay who is a computer scientist. Kay tweaked it a bit by saying, “the best way to create the future is to invent it.” I think what is important is that they were both talking about building a future, not just waiting for it.

Drucker had an uncanny ability to see things that were going to become important long before others thought they’d be important. He’d notice things that looked peculiar and he’d follow them. I once had a Nobel Laureate ask me how it was possible that Peter had foreseen so many things. I think one important reason was his consulting. He was out there in the world talking to all kinds of people and he just paid attention. He just saw it. He was an observer.

Joe Maciariello