I was thinking some more about the big loss at J.P.Morgan Chase. This weekend, I was reading an article in the New York Times, Discord at key JPMorgan Unit is Faulted in Loss. In 2010, Ina Drew, who was the executive in charge of J.P. Morgan Chase’s Chief Investment Office (where the loses occurred) contracted Lyme’s disease. During this time, her department experienced inner turmoil that would normally be managed by her. This breakdown in relationships was a distraction that moved the group’s attention away from its normally successful practices.
During the time that Ms. Drew was working part-time, the CEO, Jamie Dimon, didn’t see the need to make any changes in the group’s management. After all, Ms. Drew had made billions in profits for the bank, and they weren’t causing any problems that needed his attention – except they were.
I find that every time I forget that the way things were in the past won’t necessarily be what happens in the future, I am setting myself up for a surprise. The past is not a reliable predictor of the future. Sure, we can learn from the past, but don’t be deceived into believing it’s an accurate picture of what’s next.
For starters the world system we are part of is too complex for this simplistic approach. More importantly though, this orientation conceals what’s happening right in front of our eyes. We miss the present moment and are tranquilized to boot.
Another reminder that you have to be present to win.