The term, situation potential, was formulated and made productive for management purposes by the French philosopher and China expert F. Julien in the context of ‘effectiveness theory’. He identifies a common method in China when dealing with change and the future, which does not focus action onto creating a desired future. Rather, the present situation is influenced in such a way, that its potential to grow the desired future by itself unfolds. Instead of planning and implementing the plan, a favourable opportunity is developed with calm and careful thought. Action is more like a gardener, a patient nurturing of good conditions for one’s own purposes.
Such a procedure is inconspicuous. It is not suitable for heroes, for the stage, for headlines, for success stories, whose effectiveness emerges from actions and notable activities. However, an orientation towards situation potential avoids the risks of means to an end calculations: You do not make the right move at the wrong time, you do not step into the danger of rushing in without due consideration so easily, you do not overestimate your own effectiveness so easily, you don’t have to contend with so much opposition. Allowing the processes to ripen is another, often more suitable form of handling the risk of a dangerous future.