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What is being said about the Thinking the Unthinkable book

by Sam Whipple

Leading figures are reacting positively to our new book ‘Thinking the Unthinkable: a new imperative for leadership in a disruptive age’

This is an amazing piece of work! It deals with the little-known irony that those with the most decision-making power often feel under the most pressure to conform to the systems and norms around them. This explains why our institutions, whether national, regional or international, have been caught off guard. And why we are stuck in reactive, rather than proactive, mode. The need for a strategic overhaul in our thinking is widely acknowledged, though few know how to go about it. I think giving a copy of this book to every world leader would be a good place to start.

Miroslav Lajčák
President of the UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister of Slovakia

I can say, very genuinely, that what you’re working on is hugely important. But it is also difficult because it is human nature to react to crises but not to prepare for and pre-empt them. It is also very different today from what it used to be because of the multiplicity of possible crisis events that can overlay each other. We simply do not have the capacity to deal with more than one crisis at a time. I was very impressed by the work Nik presented when he came to the Bank. … At that time it was a provocative discussion actually, people did refer to it a number of times.

Kristalina Georgieva
CEO, The World Bank

This book is timely, scary and important. One hopes it will be widely read, and that it will resonate with those in demanding senior roles in both public and private sectors who are overwhelmed by the fast-changing and complex challenges they confront. Still more importantly, one hopes that it will trigger wide debate and thereby help to reduce the probability of the ‘unthinkable’ setbacks that threaten our current civilization, threats about which too many people are still in denial.

Lord Martin Rees
Astronomer Royal, Co-founder, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, Cambridge University

With so much change in business and in the political arena, you can either play safe in responding, or as this wonderful book encourages the reader you can “thrive on change”. Thinking the Unthinkable engages leaders to engage with ideas that may appear or may be in the short run disruptive but will lead to innovative outcomes, products and services. This is a must read for all leaders in all sectors!

Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE
ALLIANCE Manchester Business School

There is constant change and many seismic events have swung the course of history. However as a student of history I believe that viewed in one hundred years’ time the issues of today will be seen as a landmark. Globalisation and its perceived unfairness to people and planet is leading to calls for change. Capitalism, at its rawest, is being challenged as the preeminent economic model. At the same time the dawning of the digital era is creating new paradigms in how we live and work.

Fear, uncertainty and discontent is growing. Politicians and businesses are struggling for the answers. The age of the power of nation states is drawing to a close. But what will replace it? In this thoughtful book the issues are explored, and a well-reasoned case put forward to Think the Unthinkable.

Lord Mark Price
Author, “Fairness for All”. Managing Director Waitrose (2007-2016). Deputy Chairman John Lewis Partnership (2013-2016). Minister for Trade and Investment (2016-2017)

A connected world is a complex world. Once stable sand piles are cascading all around us in the economic, social and political and strategic domains. As some of today’s most important government and corporate leaders confess to authors Nik Gowing and Chris Langdon, they feel helplessly behind the pace of change. And yet, we are all price takers, but we are not helpless. Read this important book for guidance on navigating a world of unthinkables.

Dr. Parag Khanna
Author, Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization

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