Random House has just published a new book by Steve Carden from McKinsey and Co. The book is titles “New Zealand Unleashed, It’s future and the people who will get it there”.

In the words of the publisher, the book states that;

The future is coming. The question is: are we ready?New Zealand Unleashed is a look at what sort of society New Zealand will need to be to best tackle an unpredictable future. It is about how New Zealand can thrive on the uncertainty of the future, rather than fear and resist it. In this book Steven Carden doesn’t outline what New Zealand should do, rather he argues how New Zealand should be. To accomplish that, he examines aspects of biology, physics, psychology, New Zealand’s history, business and education.New Zealand Unleashed is divided into four parts:

Part One – The End of Certainty – Why does the pace of change seem so rampant today, the future so uncertain, and why does that unnerve us so much?

Part Two – How to Build a Successful Society – Given that uncertainty and complexity is an increasing fact of life, what are the three key traits that successful societies use to deal with it?

Part Three – New Zealand’s DNA – Has New Zealand exhibited these three key traits in the past, and what does it tell us about our ability to cope with change and uncertainty in the future?

Part Four – A Few Ideas for a More Adaptive New Zealand – How can New Zealand nurture these three key traits to help build a stronger country in the future?

Roger Kerr of the Business Roundtable reviewed the book and found it a little simplistic in it’s view that the economy could be looked at as a collective entity and the same drivers of vision and strategy could be applied on a macro scale as on an individual scale.

I disagree with Roger – the macro level is merely an aggregate of multiple micro level players and, as such, it is valid to utilise the same change management methodologies and drivers that we do on an entity level.

Kerr also questions the  view that today’s technological changes are more societal changing than previous advances – again I disagree – while the telephone (Kerr’s example) was a profound socienty changer, it cannot compare to the instantaneous and near absolute information that is available today

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Sounds like an interesting book.

  • I’d say we need this debate and we need more books like this – now if I could just actually read the book as well. (I’m kidding – I’ll find it)

  • Steven Carden |

    Thanks for commenting on my book, Ben. I found Kerr’s review a bit bizarre, if only because the whole them of my book is that the key to New Zealand’s longer term success won’t be found in any government policy but in the quality of New Zealand society. I thought he might have warmed to that. I agree with Jason – as a country we need to be having this debate.

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