Are You a Past, Present, or Future Thinker?

A particularly pressing task before sick-care, healthcare, and population health reformers is bridging the gap between the now and the new. How we think determines how we behave.

A particularly pressing task before sick-care, healthcare, and population health reformers is bridging the gap between the now and the new. How we think determines how we behave. Mindtime uses a method to help you determine whether you are a past, present or future thinker.

Take the test to determine your thinking type.

Past thinking gathers as much data as possible and is concerned with accuracy and truth. It is reflective. Present thinking seeks some measure of control over unfolding events. It is primarily practical. Future thinking is open to possibilities, seeks out new opportunities and intuits what the future might bring. It is essentially imaginative.

Most innovators tend towards the future thinking pole, but not exclusively. They mix the now with the new. In addition, organizations, to get things done, need all three types.

Innovators excel at connecting, experimenting, observing, questioning and associating. They are also, for the most part, future thinkers ahead of the curve.

I don't think we can change the stripes on a tiger, so if you are a past or present thinker, accept that and find the right place on an innovation team. On the other hand, if you are a future thinker, don't think too far ahead and outrun your blockers.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org