Wacker theories of being and time

At first sight, Watts Wacker's theories look about as strange as his name. As set down in The 500-Year Delta: What Happens After What Comes Next, they appear to amount to disjointed outpourings on such seemingly unconnected subjects as physics, philosophy and ancient history.

But the US has been lapping it up, and the book, co-authored with Jim Taylor, global marketing director for the computer company Gateway 2000, and journalist Howard Means, has just been published in the UK.

Wacker, described recently as "a 43-year-old blond teddy bear", attributes some of this success to a growing interest in the future as the millennium approaches. But he takes an original approach.

The idea, he explains, is to provoke rather than instruct. As such he likens his role to that of a court jester. "My job is to poke holes into things that are apparent." Insisting he has no ambition to be king or kingmaker, he says he can whisper things that get others beheaded.

Conversely, given he is constantly pointing out that the ever-increasing pace of change has created chaos in place of order, he preaches that companies must, above all, aim to survive. "The definition of a successful company is being," he says, adding that, in the effort to survive, the US firm General Electric, for example, now makes a significant proportion of its profits from financial services.

The companies that do not evolve like this are in denial, believes Wacker, who has worked with such clients as Coca-Cola, Volvo, Nike and Gateway 2000. And it is his job to disturb the complacency of those who are convinced that their success will continue for ever.

Conscious that many executives are immune from the world around them he seeks to introduce them to trends and changes in attitudes and, above all, the idea that companies must become demand-led, in the way that Gateway is in building personal computers to order.

Once a company has a proper sense of the world and its place in it, it can set out its goals. This leads to the title. Wacker says companies should forget five-year business plans and prepare ones to last half a century.

The second part of the title is a double entendre - "delta" is Greek for change and refers to the area at the end of a river which can be water, swamp or more solid land. "For us," he says, "crossing the delta is perilous because you can't tell whether it's quicksand or terra firma."

`The 500-Year Delta' is published by Capstone at pounds 15.99

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

Recruitment Genius: Tax Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea