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Present Past

If you have ever experienced how four witnesses describe the events leading up to an accident in different, and hardly reconcilable ways, you will know that the past is not fixed. However, this is also observable within a person: who is not familiar with how one and the same life event has been remembered and evaluated completely differently at different points in time (= different presents). It follows that each present has its very own past. What has happened is constantly being reinterpreted into a new present and acquires new meaning.

Whether a difficult childhood, a bankruptcy of an organisation, a successful team project or a restructuring is considered harmful or useful depends on the perspective of the respective present and the respective observer. The paradox of time therefore presupposes that there is always a communication need about numbers, data and facts, because these are not simply existent (see also ‘past present’). Organisations must therefore constantly hold discussions about the current assessment of facts! The more complex the situation, the more important it is to have diverse interpretations in order to deal with the danger that one gets trapped by one’s own prejudices and habitual viewpoints.