My dear friends John Furey and Vincent Fortunato have been working on a project called MindTime for many years. I first learned about it several years ago and it’s become a dominant—and very useful—lens through which I’ve come to understand myself, friends, concepts, and communities.
It is, at its simplest, a highly-predictive personality profile. At its broadest, it’s a tremendous lens through which to understand human behavior.
Unlike the MTBI and similar profiles which uses culture-specific linear axes (e.g., extroversion and introversion don’t mean as much in East Asia), MindTime focuses on people’s universal relationship with time.
If I were to say that people are varying degrees of past-, present-, and future-thinking, I imagine this would already make intuitive sense to you. Further, this can be applied to any word, idea, company, community, brand, and even country.
Here are some examples:
- Coca-Cola is a “past” brand and Pepsi is a “future” brand
- Hope is a “future” word, tradition is a “past” word
- Republicans are generally past-thinking (“Make America Great Again” implies that the past was better) versus Democrats are generally more future-thinking (Obama’s “Hope” is the idea that things will be better in the future).
- As an aside, I think Clinton’s “Better Together” was too present-thinking to appeal to future-thinking millennials.
If a heavily future-thinking person finds themselves in a heavily past-thinking company or team, there may be a lot of conflict. Same goes for relationships (from personal experience). Simply understanding where everyone is coming from can improve empathy, happiness, and performance. My friend has used this to help develop teams at a variety of companies.
If you’re intrigued, check out their site or try the profile (free, no registration, takes about 2 minutes). I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially whether or not you find the results both specific and accurate.
For you past-thinking dominant types, you’ll be delighted to know that there’s very solid science behind it.