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Recommended Reading by Randy White

Architects of Change – topically edgy, ultimately inspiring

By In ambiguity leader, global leaders, relax it's only uncertainty, Uncategorized, . . . On October 29, 2019


I’m recommending a new book, Architects of Change: Designing Strategies for a Turbulent Business Environment, by Dr. Jeremy Ghez.

But first, some disclosure is in order.

For decades now I’ve been studying the effects of ambiguity and uncertainty on leadership. Recently as I updated Relax, It’s Only Uncertainty, I was struck by how much has changed since the original publication in 1999. Yet simultaneously, I was struck by how the need to master and manage uncertainty has remained constant. 

Architects of Change
Jeremy Ghez, PhD

I’ve spoken to a few colleagues who confirm that the world has indeed become more ambiguous. One of them—Jeremy—represents a much younger generation of leadership scholars. At HEC Paris, Jeremy is a professor of economics and international affairs, and is Scientific Director of the Sustainability and Social Innovation Master’s program. He works with students tasked with significant and potentially world-changing academic projects in far-flung locations.

While he suggests it’s time that I leave the aging acronym “VUCA” in the dust bin of old consulting psychologist history, because his younger students don’t acknowledge it, he heartily validates the need to master uncertainty in order to succeed in business.

So yes, I am a bias reviewer this book. Though generations apart, Jeremy and I agree on much. I also had the pleasure of reading advance drafts.

That said, Jeremy’s new work, Architects of Change is a very fresh and sometimes raw take on confronting chaos, ambiguity and rapid change. He uses a topical lens to establish context in an often harsh world. There’s a sense of humanity dealing with growing political upheaval, ethnic tension, socio-economic distress and climate change that may no longer be that far removed from elite executives in top jobs.

Architects of Change is a study in how to not only succeed by finding new ways forward in today’s uncertain business environments, but also how to be more fulfilled as individuals and, hopefully, see how to use this as positive actors in a world that could use some bold, humane leadership.

The book follows the experiences of fictional young leaders—though you might recognize them from people in your own experience—that provide practical lessons in what we all need to be looking for amidst a turbulent business environment.

Ultimately, Architects of Change is a refreshing look at the social factors driving change in an uncertain world.  

Jeremy’s insight and sensitivity to various social forces driving change gives the reader a deeper understanding of not only what is currently happening in our world but promotes understanding of where these changes might be driving all of us in the not too distant future.

Congratulations to Jeremy and thanks for advancing the discussion.

—Randy White