Mind Set!: Reset Your Thinking and See the Future

Mind Set!: Reset Your Thinking and See the Future

by John Naisbitt

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061136887
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/03/2006
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

John Naisbitt has been studying and visiting China for forty-two years, first in 1967, with more than one hundred visits since. A former professor at Nanjing University, he is currently a professor at both Nankai University and Tianjin University of Finance and Economics.

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Mind Set!
Reset Your Thinking and See the Future

Chapter One

Mindset #1

While many things change, most things remain constant

In a 24/7 media world, the hype is change

On August 8, 2006, Amazon.com listed 56,170 book titles under change, 11,195 titles under business change, and 2,404 titles under global change. An uncountable number of newspapers, magazines, and 24-hour news channels leave not one stone unturned, promoting the idea that everything is changing. Now, who in the world can keep up with this? No one can.

Don't bother.

Think about it: Most businesses stay in a steady state, day in and day out, year in and year out. Yes, products and markets have been altered, mostly for the better, and the tools we use have changed. But despite the avalanche of business books, business practices—the basics of buying and selling, of making a profit as a necessary condition of survival—have remained much the same during my 40 years of involvement.

Whether cell phones can display television and calls are made via the Internet, your bathtub filled by taking off your clothes, or your refrigerator opened by a rumble in your stomach, these are just other ways of doing what we do—easier, faster, farther, more, and longer—and not the substance of our lives. We go to school, get married, and have kids and send them to school, which, God knows, does not change despite the chanting for school reform. Home, family, and work are the great constants.

Life on a sugar beet farm has not changed too much since my boyhood. As ever, the seasonsdetermine the rhythm of life, although modern equipment has eased sowing and harvesting. Most of the farmers still raise chickens and keep farm animals, only the horses in my time used for transport and work are more often kept for leisure and delight. In the ups and downs of life my parents were trying to make their living, educate their children as best they could, all in the frame of their potential and with the tools of their time.

At the beginning of their 11-volume Story of Civilization, Will and Ariel Durant say:

Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from ¬people killing, stealing, shouting and doing things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, ¬people build homes, make love, raise their predictable children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues.

The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks.

The difference between what and how

Have you ever made a list of what changes or is likely to change? Hold on—not a list of how we do things, but what we do.

Returning to farming, what has changed is how agriculture is practiced. Advancement is dependent on how flexible farmers adapt their skills to new technologies and changing consumer behavior. But farmers stay what they are, farmers, although there are differences in how they farm. Some find their niche, adapting to changing demands in the market, like Chino's, whose delicate organic vegetables and fruits are flown to celebrity cooks like Wolfgang Puck in Los Angeles. Others, for various reasons, have not made it and have given up farming.

Most change is not in what we do, but how we do it. Within all the hype, the more we are able to differentiate between constants and change, the more effectively we will be able to react to new markets and profit from change. Sports are a good example.

The rules of team sports remain fairly constant—with only very small changes from time to time. The changes we do make often come from a change in the way players play their game. A well-known big change was the popularization of the modern forward pass in football by Knute Rockne in the 1920s. The goal was still to get a touchdown, but how players could get to the goal line changed.

Occasionally an individual player's style will change a game.

On the night of December 30, 1936, a crowd of more than 17,500 turned out at the old Madison Square Garden in New York City, to see Long Island University, the nation's number-one basketball team with a 43-game winning streak, oppose Stanford, the defending Pacific Coast Conference champion. Stanford ended LIU's winning streak with a 45–31 victory, but something more important happened.

The crowd in fact had mostly come to see Hank Luisetti, Stanford's 6 foot 2 inch, 185-pound sophomore. He was the only player known for shooting the ball with one hand while he hung in the air, in defiance of basketball style. Everyone else was shooting the old style: two-handed set shots or hook shots. The huge publicity celebrating Luisetti's shooting style did not change that the goal was putting the ball into the basket, but it forever changed how the game was played. But not without stubborn resistance. The establishment felt it was not the right thing to do. "That's not basketball," Nat Holman, the fabled City College of New York coach, said at the time. "If my boys ever shot one-handed, I'd quit coaching."

Luisetti was voted college player of the year in 1937 and 1938. He finished second to George Mikan in the Associated Press's poll to select the best player of the first half of the twentieth century.

Hank Luisetti died on December 17, 2002, living plenty long enough to see his style perfected and embellished by the likes of Earl Monroe, Julius Erving, and, of course, Michael Jordan.

A change in techniques often opens a door to a wider potential. American track-and-field athlete Dick Fosbury literally developed a jump into a new era. Instead of leaping facing the bar and swinging first one leg and then the other over the bar, Fosbury turned just as he leaped, flinging his body backward over the bar with his back arched and his legs following, landing on his shoulders. Fosbury, a high school student in Medford, Oregon, started to high-jump using the straddle method he learned . . .

Mind Set!
Reset Your Thinking and See the Future
. Copyright © by John Naisbitt. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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