management, sensemaking

A document from the future: believe it or not. Part 1



Mystery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always been a great fan of sci-fi. I read many books, but I was impressed early on by Herbert G. Wells fantastic novels. This is the reason why I am still wondering what really happened two weeks ago. Was it real or I just imagined it? And this external drive, is it something I found out there or is it actually mine? I know I sound confused, and I am probably confused. I am still doubtful, because if this external drive is not mine and it is real, I have a proof of the possibility of time travels.

What I remember is that I was hiking along the coast in the Montana de Oro State Park. We had a wonderful winter here in San Luis Obispo and the weather was gorgeous. The sun was shining bright and the temperature was high in the seventies. I could smell the flavor of the sea, its waves roaring in the distance. Since we are now enjoying the academic holidays I decided to take a break from my papers and research, and walk in this beautiful landscape. Apart from a couple of solitary, retired people with their dogs, I did not meet anybody, until I saw in the distance the frame of a tall man. He was walking in my direction, far on the cliffs overseeing the sea. Initially, I barely noticed him, as I was all involved in my ideas. It was only when he was no more than 200 meters away that I realized he looked weird. He was wearing a long colorful robe, something in between a toga and a sari. He was walking fast as if heading to an appointment. When my eyes crossed inadvertently his, I realized he has an unusual haircut, and an insightful face. I turned my glance in the hope of not having to stop and talk with him. After all I was there to be alone. That’s when all of a sudden, the stranger walked right in front of me and stopped me with his arms on my shoulders. I shivered. What did he want from me?

He did not talk, but reached for something in his pocket, then gave me a strange object and said: “I have little time. This is an USB compliant drive. We do not use them anymore, but I was able to find one at the museum. I want you to take it and read the documents inside. It might not be too late”. I could not react, and in an instant he ran away, so fast I could barely understand what was happening.

I think I lost my senses, because things get confused after this fragment. I only remember waking up apparently four hours later. Still I had that object in my hand. When at home I discovered it was really an external drive and found this document. I am copying it hereafter. I don’t expect you to believe me, because I cannot believe it myself. But the document does have enough value that it deserves to be at least read. Maybe it is fake, maybe it is all made up, but the issues at its heart are relevant.

I am publishing it in parts so that you can read it through.

“A rediscovered pamphlet for the HR that could have been… ” by Butler Zensunni


I found these notes in an original and dusted edition of “The decline of business: how society came to an end”, published in 2015, the most renowned commentary of the facts that lead in a couple of years between 2013 and 2014 to the end of the era of change and discover and brought us back on the path of tradition and conservation. Initially, I thought they might be recent notes by an intrigued reader. But when I brought them to the community librarian he revealed that they are original, probably the comments of a reader who had witnessed corporate boardrooms before the dawn of corporations. Some of the contents are infused with hope, so it is reasonable to believe they were edited before the events that lead to the end of society. The author tries to raise issues and call for action, targeting a specific subset of what were commonly called “manager[1]”. Many ideas and words sound unfamiliar to me and will probably sound awkward to most of you but I decided to publish this pamphlet in its original form, with few or none reviews. It is an historical document of great value, weren’t for the fact that history has no meaning, now that we are back to a constant reproduction of routinely actions and behaviors. So I imagine most of you will read it as a sort of a tale, similar to the many we are used to read aloud in the community gatherings every once a while.

And indeed a tale it is, but it made me wonder what could have happened if somebody back then had believed in it and took action.

[1] Manager referred to people who by virtue of different processes were called to lead corporations. In today communities, the role of communal leaders resembles the role of manager, although communal leaders are expected to care for all the members of a community and not a subset of them as it was common by then (some documents refer to these subsets as ‘talents’, another obscure terminology). Also, communal leaders do not expect a more favorable treatment than other members, while it was common for managers to be rewarded much more than other corporate members.