Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way: Developing and Applying a Forward-Focused Mindset

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 5 August 2014


Rao, M.S. (2014), "Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way: Developing and Applying a Forward-Focused Mindset", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 22 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way: Developing and Applying a Forward-Focused Mindset

Article Type: Suggested reading From: Human Resource Management International Digest, Volume 22, Issue 6

Bruce Rosenstein, McGraw-Hill, 2013, ISBN: 9780071820806

Bruce Rosenstein’s Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way: Developing and Applying a Forward-Focused Mindset helps to provide a road-map no matter where you are on your career or personal journey.

It incorporates time-tested principles into a step-by-step daily plan that will change your life forever. You can create a future-focused mindset and learn how to build a better tomorrow by taking steps today. You can determine the future by what has already happened. You can become your own successor and keep yourself in demand and in control of your destiny. You can shape the future of your organization – go beyond the planning stage and create real change. Also, you can build your future beyond your current workplace, and identify challenges and opportunities in all aspects of your life.

The author argues that the best way to approach the future is to keep it in mind as you go about your daily life and work. The future is essentially unknowable, uncertain and unpredictable. You cannot assume that it will be similar to today. Despite and because of its unpredictability, the future must be built and created.

You need to accept that a certain amount of your future has, as Peter Drucker puts it, “already happened,” because of the inevitable effects of events that have already taken place. The future unfolds based on and because of the thoughts, actions, choices, commitments and decisions that you are making right now. People and organizations must accept this as normal and ongoing and should be organized for change, driven by change leaders/change agents.

The observations you make about potential futures must include the implications for your personal life and work. The future is created by systematically stopping what is no longer useful while continually improving what remains. This represents the combination of systematic abandonment and kaizen.

Innovations in services, products and process are major drivers of creating the future. Entrepreneurs create valuable new enterprises for the future gain of society. Continual change means challenges from disruptive technologies and disruptive businesses, as well as non-stop turbulence. Risk is ever-present, but doing nothing is often not helpful, either.

Here are some key ways that you can cultivate the actions and abilities, based on Peter Drucker’s example, to become your own successor:

  • diversify your efforts and outputs;

  • develop a powerful personal brand;

  • maintain a global outlook and world view;

  • remain relevant;

  • produce a consistently impressive body of work; and

  • engage in creative work that benefits others.

The text advises people to develop a profound central insight that the future must be created day by day, person by person, rather than be left to chance or fate. To learn about the future, learn a lot from friends, colleagues and consulting partners. Embrace change by focusing on possibilities, while not minimizing or ignoring problems or difficulties.

The book suggests the need to take a holistic approach to the future, considering what you did yesterday, what you do today and what you envision for tomorrow. The first has such a strong pull and influence on today that it is bound to matter for how you approach tomorrow. Peter Drucker’s intense interest in many subjects infuses the holistic approach, displaying his wide reading and pleasure in studying and making connections among different disciplines.

Peter Drucker was an avid user of libraries. He looked at them in practical ways, tapping into the wisdom and expertise of the librarians to gain access to the best, most relevant information. He also had a large following in the library world. He worked all along, learning, meeting and interacting with people, and building on his own work as writer, consultant and teacher.

Keep thinking of the Peter Drucker mindset, where consideration of the future is always in your mind as you read, listen, discuss and observe. Note the things that do not fit with what you already know, but that could lead to significant changes for you, your profession or your organization. Try to decide how much time you would like to spend daily or weekly in this search for the future. Keep your printed and/or online notebooks and files ready for relevant information and flag the items you want to track.

Bruce Rosenstein was closely associated with Peter Drucker and his work. He has a passion for learning and sharing his knowledge with students and the world. This book throws light on various aspects of Drucker that are not known to many.

The book not only helps to teach the art of catching fish but also helps you to locate the fish. The language is simple and direct and the tone is conversational. You can easily apply these ideas and insights to excel as a leader.

The book is a great guide for the followers of Peter Drucker and a great resource for students, learners and leaders. It is an inspiring book to help you to excel as a visionary leader and to make a difference to the world. Enjoy creating your future!

Reviewed by M.S. Rao,,