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October 24, 2002

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - What's Next?

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 9:55 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Whats Next? Exploring the New Terrain for Business by Eamonn Kelly, Peter Leyden and Members of Global Business Network. Perseus Publishing, 360 pages, $27.00, Hardcover, October 2002, ISBN 0738207608
The future. If only we had a looking glass or crystal ball and could tell the future. Well, maybe we dont have a mystical way of guiding our moves, but perhaps Whats Next is the perfect stand-in. The publisher that brought you Business, has now gathered the insights of 50 business thinkers that doesnt dwell on the typical concerns and common preoccupation of companies today but looks outside the traditional business realm at the broader forces in the world that are increasingly influencing the business environment. During these turbulent times, it is readily apparent that any hard and fast rules regarding business have dissolved and its a free-for-all out there. The publisher asks us: Who better to guide us through these tumultuous times than the thought leaders of Global Business Network, the renowned futures reseach group, learning network and strategic consulting firm.
Sections titled Power, People, Potential, and Planet include such chapters as: Toward a New World Order Geopolitics and Governance, The Search for Deeper Meaning Values and Belief Systems, and The Earth as a Whole Environment and Sustainability. Okay, by now, you probably have your brow-furrowed and are shaking your head, thinking that this surely seems like some kind of dry philosophy book. Dont be misled. Despite its seriousness, the way the book is laid out makes it quite palatable. For example, a few members of the cast of characters include: Laurie Anderson, performance artist, writer and musician, Walter Parkes, Hollywood movie producer and president of Dreamworks SKG; Betty Sue Flowers, poet, writer, educator and director of the LBJ presidential library. Not exactly the driest of people and obviously creative thinkers. These folks are mixed in with economoists, historians, visionaries and other all-around heavy hitters. Still not convinced that this thing is readable? In a very timely section called Terrorism and Security contributors keep their thoughts to less than a page long no drawn out philosophical entries, just opinions, guidelines for our own thoughts. And that is really what I liked about this book. It was a little like listening to NPR imperative questions and the information we need for rich thinking and relevant debate. Not only will this make your next dinner party conversation more exciting, it will help you find out about where you stand as you gaze into the future.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.