act smart – be wise

I’m on my way to the 7th Global Drucker Forum, a gathering of 500 people in the venerable and vivid city of Vienna. Thought leaders in management and beyond, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, supporters and educators. Men and woman, professionals from around the world.

This years topic is twofold : “Claiming our Humanity – Managing in the digital age”.

While the second part of the challenge, the managing in an age where digital connectivity and businesses are disrupting not only whole industries but also the way we interact and collaborate locally and globally on a day-to-day basis, seems somewhat manageable and linked to the professional expertise and experience of the attendees, the first implication stands out with a total different nature.

Why is it, that we feel the need to claim our humanity? Did we lose it?

To claim our humanity as humans is comparable as for water to claim its humidity, for light to claim its brightness or for brain cells to claim synchronized activity. Its somewhat essential.

And if we suppose for an moment, that we actually did lose it along the way. What would that make of us in the consequence, who are we as humans without humanity?

Chances are that we are isolated beings on some level, as humanity is about feeling connected with other humans and life itself.
We are probably beings out of balance in some ways, as humanity is about integrating all of our aspects and potential of humanness.
And we are almost certainly unhappy beings, as humanity is the playground were humans tend to find and execute on genuine meaning.

Peter Straub, president and host of the Drucker Forum puts it this way:
“It is perhaps ironic that in a moment of technology-driven information and knowledge explosion we should be feeling our way back to something that has been largely forgotten in the frenzy of accelerating change and instant gratification: genuine wisdom. Yet it is such wisdom—which can only come from human beings and not from machines—that we need in order to make the decisions that will create a better future for all.”

So if genuine wisdom is the call for action for this claim, genuine meaning would be the purpose.

And maybe its helpful to start with this honest distinction: While business, management and smartness has come a long way together, wisdom has not been predominately on the agenda. So in order to change that, we should give us the benefit of practice.

The distinction of acting smart and being wise can help us choosing directions and discussing interconnected solutions: Smart is the perspective of the few, wise is the perspective for the whole.
And when smartness is about picking the apples, wisdom would be about tending the ecosystem.

I’m exited to practice genuine wisdom, meaning and smartness in a circle of impactful business leaders. Todays corporations, its stakeholders, technological and non-technological services are at the center of global human interaction.

We are the ones who can grant us our humanity.

1 thought on “act smart – be wise”

  1. Katherine Longhi

    Wow! Really insightful, well written, and powerful message! I think that we are any less human now than we’ve been in previous eras, but I do think that we ACT less human sometimes as a whole. Although, that’s probably difficult to measure… Sometimes it seems hard to be human and to act humanly to other humans (so many examples where we fail greatly at this as a species, not to mention how we treat other species.) It’s an important issue and I’m glad you are taking the lead on it. Look forward to hearing more!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *