ABOUT BARRAK ADAMS
Barrak Adams graduated in Engineering from the Singapore Polytechnic in 1972 and since then has done post graduate studies in Social Science, Rubber and Plastics Technology, Psychology, Training and Development, Radiation Protection and Quality Management. He has been involved in Printing, Property Development, Timber, Food and Beverages, Audio-Visual and Automobile products, Retailing and Logistics, in capacities ranging from Executive, Engineer, Manager, Plant Manager, Project Director and Managing Director. He had been a Registered Management Consultant, Management System Auditor, Trainer and Counselor.
He was a committee member in the development of the Quality Engineering program curricula of the Science University of Malaysia, developed the quality management system for the Malaysian Parliament and various other ministries, and was an auditor for the Malaysian Prime Ministers environmental program. During the development of the Tiger Economies of South East Asia in the 1970’s and 80’s, he was extensively involved in Vendor Development Programs in those countries, catching up with industrialization in a few years what took the West a few decades.
He had successfully set up, developed and sold corporations involved in manufacturing, printing and trading, and worked with industries spanning Europe and the Far East.
In 1991 Barrak started his own consultancy providing services in organisational development, during which period he took an interest in training and people development and spent a substantial part of his time learning how to help people realize their potentials, a skill that was especially useful when organisations were restructuring themselves in the globalization climate.
Apart from writing for his in-house publication, NMA Information Brief, he has developed about a hundred training manuals and workbooks covering a wide range of people and organizational development programs for corporate clients, academic institutions and training providers.
‘Pre-Emptive Thinking: Managing Problems and Threats’ took more than a year to complete, though thoughts on the book started in 2008 at the economic meltdown in the USA that was going to affect almost the entire world. Since lessons learnt from previous financial breakdowns do not seem to prevent new crisis, the search for a more primary cause and control led to the discovery of a neglected thinking skill that had successfully served society for a very long time in human history.
The extensive experiences that Barrak had with governments and corporations, and his more than twenty years of developing people showed how society is managed and how people, who had surrendered their well being to others, can redeem it.
All the exercises recommended in the book to regain our pre-emptive abilities have been successfully used by Barrak in his training programs for more than two decades; thus being written with an insight and comprehension that is rarely seen elsewhere.
“Managing Problems and Threats
The Way to Live and Work”
Publisher: Black Book Plus (Seaburn Publishing & Distribution Group)
Publication scheduled for Feburary 2013
WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT
PRE-EMPTIVE THINKING is about society having surrendered its safety and security to a system and therefore suffers its consequences. We have all congregated to tightly knitted communities that display the same behavioural characteristics, however different we may look, making ourselves easily manageable and exploitable. The compelling need to seek wealth at an increasing intensity necessitates the surrender of our well being and safety to the tempting system of laws and its enforcement. Where we were once supremely pre-emptive to have dominated all other life forms, with this surrender comes negligence and inadequacy for our safety and security. Where there is lack of vigilance and pre-emption, exploiters will surface and we invite problems and pain. Should we be exploited or abused we leave the remedies to that system, not to be distracted in our pursuits, a system, that having failed us in the first instance, is incapable of redeeming itself. And we see our men losing their nobility, our women their grandeur and the children grope for meaning. This happens to us physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually.
This book, ‘Pre-Emptive Thinking: Managing Problems and Threats – The Way to Live and Work,’ or ‘Redeeming Your Heritage: Pre-Emptive Thinking – Managing Problems and Threats,’ discusses this in a hard hitting and inspiring manner, proposing a means for us to regain our pre-emptive abilities. Its style is creative non-fiction, with humour, facts, soul-searching and solutions.
IT IS IMPORTANT that society does not continue to head towards it own destruction as predicted by both hard-nosed scientists and competing fortune tellers. There must be something in the human make-up that had caused us to outlast all challenges and catastrophes to emerge as the most sophisticated life form. Calling this characteristic Pre-Emptive Thinking, this book shows us that it is a natural and powerful human characteristic that will make us outdo once again, the ability to pre-empt and stay independently trouble and threat free. The thinking that used to show us approaching dangers and problems, that we may avoid, avert or contain. Whether it is instinct, intuition or thinking, we had it in abundance and it served us well. The book takes us through a journey of self discovery. Interspersed with stories of average people and poetry, we are inspired to believe in ourselves. We learn how this thinking contributed to our success before, and how we lost it in a ridiculous manner, how our brain is the natural source and fountain of this ability, waiting to be rekindled, and what we will have to do to once again take charge of our lives. The exercises recommended for this thinking are so simple, that one is led to believe that creation never meant to make it difficult for humans to live well. Using examples and applications across communities and corporations, we are shown the fundamentality of this thinking for all purposes.
ORIGINAL in exploring that we are born with pre-emptive and vigilance capacities that is systematically removed by a social order, also created by us, so that we can indulge in immediate gratification activities, for which we then sacrifice some amongst us. The book tells the story of gazelles and how every so often one of them is killed for the rest to run away and graze. Before this, parallels have been drawn to a similar situation in human society. The story of the gazelles crystallises this situation and challenges the reader to seek solutions. The book does not challenge the system. There are too many such texts. This book tells people that it was our ‘pleasure seeking mind’ that brought about this situation and what we now need to do.
IN A CONTROVERSIAL MANNER, unlike almost all other such books on the status of society that blame the governments, the Bildeberg Group, the Illuminatis, and other such supposed organisations, the book groups everyone, including the reader, into the Economic Man. And shows how this man created a system to generate wealth that required people to be non-pre-emptive. And how, society, for the immediate gratification of many, permits the sacrifice of some. There are many Pandora Boxes opened in the book that will require future editions and series to cover.
And by showing that organisations are also deluged by the same situation, the book hints that it is not some elite group that manipulates society, but we, by our behaviours, are the causes for the current social helplessness and vulnerability.
WHY WRITE, AND PUBLISH NOW?
Why have we thought of every other thinking except pre-emptive thinking? The book explicitly shows that there is such thinking. It occupies the space between preventive and corrective thinking. It is active, unfolding foresight, mostly of concerns. The book answers how our pleasure-seeking-mind is the reason for our neglect of this thinking. How it ignores or procrastinates any action that will deny it of pleasure, even if the consequence is pain in the long run. We are finally reaching the stage where the pain resulting from the pleasure-actions are surfacing in society. It is now that pre-emptive thinking will be acknowledged to serve its purpose.
People need a viable solution. Blaming others is rhetoric and not the solution. The healing and solution has to take place within each of us. People are ready to accept this responsibility. People realize that for a long time we have been blaming invisible forces as the reason for our social problems. They are ready for an alternative. And many in society will be willing to expend some effort to resolve this.
Mankind has abandoned its safety and well being to a system to devote themselves to the generation of wealth that they do not seem to be able to keep. The message of the book is that since the advent of the Economic Man, we have been imperceptibly moving in this direction, surrendering our security to a system that by its very nature and structure is not capable of fulfilling this trust. Communities and society, and not the individual, have become the statistics to measure the well being of mankind. When individuals experience losses because they have forgotten the ability to avoid and avert threats, the event is a statistic of society to be addressed when it reaches a significant level. And even then, in crime for example, these numbers are reclassified to bring them down, consoling people to pursue their passion of work and rest. Fortunately the very nature of man is to be pre-emptive, to observe and interpret the unfolding of events and behave in the appropriate manner to protect what is his responsibility. The human brain is designed to do this exceptionally well. And it is possible for mankind to rekindle this capability within all of us. The book is about what we had and lost, what is the outcome of this, and what we can do to regain this heritage.
Chapter One pictures the lives of a pre-historic man who was successfully pre-emptive and a modern man in New Orleans who constantly faces troubles due to a lack of pre-emptive behaviour. The Conclusion of the book tells of the events of one day in the lives of three persons who have regained their pre-emptive capabilities and are successful in the conduct of their lives.
Between these two chapters, the reader is taken through a journey of understanding what pre-emptive thinking is and how it is practiced or not practiced in different endeavours of society today. And how this thinking ability was active in early societies, from hunter gatherers to the political and religious man, and then it began to fade away with the advent of the economic man. The Freudian mind is analysed here to understand how the Id was largely contributory towards this.
Having successfully pointed the finger at the economic man, the book turns its attention to the systems that the economic man implements to enhance the continued generation of wealth, and how the very fundamentals of those systems are incapable of maintaining efficient operations. Various failures of the system that had impacted mankind profoundly are brought to attention, taking the arguments to a global level from where readers can easily relate to the message. The book then brings us back to look within ourselves, and where in our makeup is the seat of pre-emptive thinking that should be able to prevent the catastrophes discussed earlier.
Thereafter the book speaks of the brain and its inborn ability to be pre-emptive, and why it is not effective and what has to be done. Here various consciousnesses, intuition and instinct are discussed. And to develop these pre-emptive abilities the book takes the reader through a series of simple exercises and life-styles, though explaining the depth of some of these exercises that are seldom put into print, if ever at all. The readers are shown how to regain their pre-emptive abilities to lead a safer and secure life. Relationships are drawn to the pursuits of the economic man that he too may apply it to the industries, though by this time it becomes clear that this thinking ability is applicable across all aspects of society.
Stories and events in the lives of individuals express the ideas of the book from a real life perspective. Many case studies are presented across a wide range of organisations and families to show the need for this skill. The four poems carry the spirit of the pre-emptive being in all of us through the book.
This is a self-help book, written in a fluid fast manner, setting the pace for readers to want to continue. However it is also an extensively researched factual book, controversial and hard-hitting that will cause readers to reflect on it. There are no difficult words used. But sentences are connected and set the pace. The ideas and proposals will be of interest to persons from all walks of life. Corporations will be interested for the book also analyses how corporations are trapped in the non-pre-emptive-thinking syndrome.
THE CORE AUDIENCE is the general adult reading public, corporations and the public sector. Barrak Adams is currently developing training programs, to be franchised, that is targeted for the corporations and the public sector.
PEOPLE WILL BUY, READ AND TALK ABOUT IT, for the book presents a naturally existing, much needed and yet ignored form of thinking. It shows how we always had the capacity for this thinking at our disposal and what to do to use it. By tracing the history of society, from the pre-historic man to the current times, the book throws new light on what happened to us that we have neglected our independence and its prestige to serve a purpose that we are not clear about. It throws new light on our mental numbness and surrender.
The book has many new viewpoints that will make good tea-talk topics. For example:
And also what satisfied the customer at first becomes the norm next and a defect thereafter, for the customer’s expectations continue to increase. It is a vicious cycle. Competing marketers promote quality and satisfaction that is subtly higher that what is actually offered. You cannot take them to court, but the marketing design, graphics, vocals, colors and media delivery are almost always better than what is finally gotten. It is no wonder that customer satisfaction is never fulfilled and we are on a rollercoaster of product and service development, variation and re-presentation that does not see a stabilizing alternative.
Or – A disgruntled people rebelled. Revolutions and civil wars led to democracy and communism; both, proclaiming equal rights for all, fought for the hearts and minds of the people. Democracy won, the free market came about and possessions and positions became the symbols of success and stature and the desires of individuals, families and society, giving birth to the Economic Man, dedicated to the generation and accumulation of wealth. Where taxation and tithes, fines and penalties were the means for the Political and Religious Man to channel resources and wealth, the Economic Man concentrated on innovation and productivity. Human creativity, loyalty, single-mindedness, commitment and dedication were the means to channel wealth, for which people had to be free of concerns about their environment and its dangers. To remove distractions to their generation of wealth, a social system that assured people that their families, property, interests and possessions are protected by the state came about, transferring individual responsibilities to the state. People could now devote themselves completely to generating wealth for themselves and society.
Or – And when humans are in such a state of stupor, having abandoned their vigilance, safety and security to the state, amongst them will be some, more greedy and daring, who will deprive them, whether in dignity, freedom, health or wealth.
There are no competing books that I know of. There are texts on critical thinking dealing with logic and reasoning, and on creative thinking about originality and innovation, whilst pre-emptive thinking involves anticipating what may happen, based on information in both our consciousness and unconsciousness that we may prepare pre-emptive actions to benefit, avoid or contain what is happening. When we practice critical thinking, the experience and feeling we develop allows us to see that there is creativity behind it, and when we extend ourselves into creative thinking we can now see into the realms of pre-emptive thinking. One naturally leads to the next, though each can exist by itself, not because the others are absent, but because they are not cultivated and connected. However the present book does not address this, though the next edition of this book (or another book) will include this, connecting all three thinking skills.
Texts on forecasting deal with mathematical or weighted processes to determine what may happen in the future. Pre-emption, in addition to using data, also uses intuition and instinct.
The book, ‘Foresight – the Art and Science of Anticipating the Future,’ by Dennis Loveridge, published in 2009 by Routledge, deals with institutional Foresight, anticipating the future for decision making, strategic planning and change management, being closer to forecasting. Whereas pre-emptive thinking is the thinking process by everyone to observe the unfolding of events to avoid and avert threats or benefit from opportunities. Similarly other books on foresight deal with leadership and forecasting.
Precautionary principle texts deal with not doing something as the means for it not to be harmful related to environmental management. Pre-emption is when we cannot prevent, but can observe, avoid or contain.
Preparedness is an animalistic, instinctual readiness to recognize and react to certain stimuli. Pre-emption involves cognition; the instinct is not reactive, but responsive. There are a number of books on preparedness dealing with being prepared for war, danger and so on, by storing food, having bunkers, reacting to terrorism and such matters.
The idea that the common person can be pre-emptive has not been explored.