It has been a long journey
It has been far, far too long since my last book. After writing Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, Living Networks, Implementing Enterprise 2.0, and Getting Results From Crowds I got caught up in an over-ambitious set of ventures and then a period as co-founder and CEO of a new startup group as well as life transitions.
However it also took finding the right topic. I had resolved only to write a book if I could sell it to a top publisher through an agent. Part of the reason is that I wanted the book to have the best chances of success, but I also recognized that agents and publishers generally understand best what books are likely to garner an audience, and I wanted others to also see the potential of my ideas.
As it turned out I spent literally years working on a proposal for a sprawling book about how to think about the future which I wasn’t able to sell. However I was extremely fortunate that ‘super-agent‘ Jim Levine saw that within the book’s many concepts I shared an idea that he felt merited an entire book: Thriving on Overload. I started afresh to write a new proposal, leading to McGraw-Hill acquiring the title.
The long evolution of the ideas
The most common response to the idea of ‘Thriving on Overload’ I hear is that it is “very timely.” That is true, yet dealing with an excess of information is hardly a new issue, and not one which will ever go away. In 1997 I wrote an article titled Information Overload: Problem or Opportunity?, sharing some of my thinking at the time.
This reflected the ideas I had been developing and implementing in my first company Advanced Human Technologies, whose initial offering was helping traders and researchers in investment banks deal effectively with unlimited information. In my last corporate role as Global Director – Capital Markets at Thomson Financial I had seen first-hand how financial market participants dealt with information, and the opportunity to enhance cognition to improve performance.
During the last 25 years I have applied the ideas with clients, but also continued to use and develop the effective practices in my work as a professional futurist. In guise I frequently work for organizations across the very diverse fields of financial services, professional services, technology, media, retail, healthcare, education, and government, though I am also frequently invited to work with large organizations in other sectors. In every case my clients expect me to understand not only the state of their industry today, but also what is shaping its future, with concrete examples, as well as addressing their distinctive geographic context.
As a futurist, it is at the core of my role to keep across a universe of information across multiple domains. It is not surprising that the question I am most often asked at my engagements is ‘how on earth do you keep on top of accelerating change?’
More than a book
This is such an important topic that more is needed to help people than only a book. Certainly, I have worked hard to distil into a fairly compact book the most valuable guidance, as well as pragmatic exercises and pointers to the most useful additional reading, content, and software tools.
In writing the book I interviewed an array of inspiring entrepreneurs, authors, executives, and thinkers. Rather than just excerpting the gems from my conversations I wanted to share their insights with the world. The Thriving on Overload podcast includes every interview I did for the book, plus many more recorded after the book was complete. Definitely check it out for deeper insights.
The book website also includes a resources section, including software reviews, insights, and more, which from an early start will build substantially in coming months. Sign up for the Thriving on Overload email to be kept abreast of the new content. We are also creating a course to help individuals and corporate learning departments to improve information capabilities, which is at the center of productivity and effectiveness in just about every role today.
Please support the book!
I believe this is by far my best book, I have distilled literally decades of thinking and lessons learned into its pages. Please also have a look at what business leaders such as Nir Eyal, Brett King, Gerd Leonhard, and others are saying about the book, including Nick Abrahams saying, “If you read only one business book this year, make it Thriving on Overload.”
What makes the most difference to the success of the book is pre-orders, so if you are interested in the book, please buy it before its release on September 6, 2022. The current buying options are here.
If you think it will be of interest to others, please share the book website on social media. If you listen to and like the podcast, please rate or review it on Apple Podcasts. And if you do read the book and enjoy it, an Amazon review would be deeply appreciated.
Plenty more to come in getting the book out there across many countries, I do hope we can cross paths along the way!