What future forces will affect a leaders ability to lead in the next year, five years, 10 years? We are in a time of disruptive leadership change. In a VUCA world - one characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity - traditional leadership skills won't be enough, noted futurist Bob Johansen argues.Drawing on the latest ten-year forecast from the Institute for the Future -t he only futures think tank ever to outlive its forecasts - this powerful book explores the external forces that are shaking the foundations of leadership.
©2009 Bob Johansen; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
a dedicated dilettante
Leaders Make the Future provides the insights of Bob Johansen, Fellow and former President of Institute for the Future on how leaders can cope with changes coming over the next ten years. He indicates that the world in which leaders must operate will be increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) and that leaders need to apply vision, understanding, clarity and agility to move forward effectively.
The book is mainly attempts to persuade based on reasonability and examples rather than marshaling arguments with evidence for its points. When I evaluated the evidence for a) the main forces of change in the future and b) the best skills for leaders to develop to work well within the challenges our future presents it seems pretty weak.
While I appreciate the book's ability to provoke forethought of what leaders need to do now to prepare for leading in the future, I also see a dearth of evidence that the proposed skill sets are the best way to flourish in the future.
The future my be fraught with more VUCA and the skill sets outlined may be the best approach to flourishing in a VUCA world, the lack of evidence that this is the case limits the impetus for implementing focus and programs around the skill sets described. At this point, companies serious about preparing their leadership team for the future would be well served by seeking more data for what works or diving into what is working well for similar companies (or companies similar to where the want to be) and pursuing those. It may be that IFF or other organizations also have more data to substantiate the ideas presented here.
I augmented reading the book with listening to the audiobook narrated by Brett Barry. While Mr. Barry does a nice, clear, and consistent job narrating the book, the audiobook is a version back. The differences aren't huge, but it does present some challenge.
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This book gives readers a solid look at the future and what we can do as leaders to better prepare for it. As we live day to day, we tend to forget some of the skills that are baseline skills. Mr. Johansen describes that leaders need to have a “Maker Instinct” to try to change the way they do business. Leaders also need the skill to try to make changes quickly through "Rapid Prototyping" to really become experts.
Overall, I believe the book gives readers some of the tools to live in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world.
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