Are you a perennial worrier? If so, Apocalypse How (BBC Radio 4) gives you some very big future threats to get your teeth into.  But if a polite, readable book from 2010 is more your cup of tea then try “Two Speed World”, Gerald Ashley and Terry Lloyd’s whirlwind tour of the types of changes we face and what tools you are going need in your mental kitbag in order to respond to them appropriately.

Respond – because the effects of most changes are difficult to foresee, so the real value lies in planning for them rather than the plan itself. Moreover, there’s a really important distinction the authors draw at the outset between short term incremental change, which are forecastable and reasonably familiar, and the disruptive changes for which are foreseeable but for which no one is properly prepared (although ‘fire-drills’ are a good metaphor and starting-point).

If you are someone who got to the top of your organisation through achieving demanding improvements in efficiency and cost-effectiveness, then you may well struggle when asked to turn your big ship on a sixpence.

As we continue to create an ever more complex global future, our increasingly digitized, integrated, global systems seem, on the surface, to be capable of handling Nature’s challenges but, as we in 2008 and are seeing again to our dismay with the latest corona virus (which, of course, won’t be the last), their continuing evolution has a way of posing some very old questions in new and unexpected ways – ones where, at first, we may not even understand what the tools are that we are going to need – let alone how to build and deploy them,

Like those on the latest round the world race, resilience and agile navigation will help us survive. For most of us seeking a safer, less exciting passage as it gets stormier, this book offers a very useful, and enjoyable, guide to what to have on board.

Book reviewer RG Member:  David Peregrine Jones

Gerald Ashley will present From Here to Uncertainty at the Richmond Group Meeting Saturday 13th March  click here to attend