Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead

Rob-Jan de Jong. Amacom, $27.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8144-4907-3
In this energetic business guide, consultant de Jong posits that the reason more leaders aren’t achieving peak innovation is that they’re using the wrong approach: instead of looking forward, they’re looking back. He warns against studying what’s already happened, rather than looking ahead to the next big brainwave. De Jong describes a system of four levels in ascending order of “future engagement,” telling businesspeople how to get past level two (“seeking out sources that specialize in covering future developments”), and into the active levels, from #3 (trend analysis, modeling, and simulation) to #4 (“active, systematic, visionary development”). He also lays out his trademarked FuturePriming process, which develops skills in four major quadrants: visionary content, visionary practices, visionary self, and visionary communication. As to the last skill set, De Jong proposes clear, well-defined terms with which to describe vision, in place of the vague language so often used, citing Microsoft’s early stated goal of “having a computer in every home running Microsoft software” as a high point for clarity in company mission statements. He emphasizes that intellect isn’t the only necessary ingredient for innovation—leadership and character traits like passion, authenticity, and creativity are more important. The greatest advantage of de Jong’s work are its concrete ideas and careful planning for getting through the oft-murky and buzzword-laden waters of business leadership. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/20/2014
Release date: 01/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 234 pages - 978-0-8144-4908-0
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