Tom Peters offers an interesting thought about executives, which applies to all of us. He says that executives need more unstructured time. I agree. And I think that we all do. Tom asks
Did you ever read Leadership the Hard Way, by Dov Frohman? The two things I remember from that book are, one, that 50 percent of your time should be unscheduled. And second—and I love that this is coming from an Israeli intelligence guy—that the secret to success is daydreaming.
Why is this so important? The answer is surprisingly simple. Our minds follow storylines through time and we can only do that one step at a time. When we are overly strucctured, we get plugged into a smaller storyline set. Maybe we just focus on a single one, for example, if we perceive that we are in crisis. And we end up forgetting why that story might add value. We just assume that it will because we want it to.
Every strategy fails eventually, because you have to match solutions to problems, not the other way around.
When we give ourselve more unstructured time, we gain the opportunity to see what we doing in a broader perspective. We get to reflect on where the value added in the story may be. What is the problem at hand anyway? Why is it important just now?
Which brings me to science fiction. Al Wenger offers some very cool suggestions for summer reading. Stuff that will give you a very broad perspective indeed. And he offers a provocative idea
… many of problems we are pre-occupied with today as individuals, as nations, and as humanity as a whole, are nearly trivial when placed in the broader context of the universe at large. This is not to say we shouldn’t care about these problems or try to address them. But we shouldn’t let them take up all of our attention. Instead much of that attention should be freed up and directed towards progress.
Once more — we should not let our trivial problems take up all of our attention.
I agree. Have some fun!