Lancefield on the Line

Margaret Heffernan: How to navigate a complex world to map the future

November 17, 2021 David Lancefield Season 1 Episode 8
Lancefield on the Line
Margaret Heffernan: How to navigate a complex world to map the future
Show Notes Chapter Markers

In complex times we've come to expect the future to be predictable, as strange as that sounds. Seduced by an algorithm or the prediction of a confident economist we think less, become more anxious, and lose some of our creativity and imagination. We become passive and gullible, relying on simplifications or false determinism.

My guest in this episode is Margaret Heffernan, six-time book author, mentor and former CEO of three companies as well as a BBC producer.  She argues that we must get comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity about the future, especially when facing complexity. And we need to be prepared to experiment, explore, and question.

To shape better futures for ourselves and the coming generations  will require leaders to have a backbone — to care — and to have the courage to experiment, not rely slavishly on lessons from the past or promises for the future.

More on Margaret

Her work and profile here.

Her book 'Unchartered: how to map the future together' (including a synopsis).

Resources from me:

My review of Margaret's book for Strategy+Business.

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What prompted her to write Uncharted
What gets in the way of intuition not leading to action
Companies responded to the pandemic in two ways
The power of relationships in the John Lewis Partnership
Convening people to share their perspectives
How to encourage junior people to speak up
Being comfortable with disagreement and conflict
What lunchtime manners tells you about somebody’s values
How to develop fascinating stories for the book