Via Jay Cross, are these comments from some of the most interesting and thought-provoking people in the world, through Edge: the World Question Center. The comments of Esther Dyson really struck a chord:
We’re living longer, and thinking shorter.
Unfortunately, this carries over into how we think and plan: Businesses focus on short-term results; politicians focus on elections; school systems focus on test results; most of us focus on the weather rather than the climate. Everyone knows about the big problems, but their behavior focuses on the here and now.
As a consultant, you are often called in as a last resort, and asked to come up with a quick and pragmatic solution. Don’t bother us with details and an analysis, just get the job done. However, getting down to the root causes of a messy problem may take some time. Fixing systemic problems takes even more time and effort.
We have to learn how to slow down. This can be through regular time for spirituality, exercise, reading or socialising. Organisations should incorporate slow time into their workflow. I once read that in Japan it was OK to sit at your desk and read, whereas in North America we take that as a sign of having nothing better to do. As Socrates said, “The unreflected life is not worth living”. I will take “thinking longer” as a new year’s resolution.