Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists

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Book Recommendation - Gang Leader for a Day

Monday 28 April 2008

When it comes to quality strategic futures work as part of making the pragmatic decisions that shifts beyond theoretical futures work, I encourage my clients to question the assumptions they make about the information they have available to them. Which is why I am recommending the book 'Gang Leader for a day - a rougue sociologist takes to the streets' by Sudhir Venkatesh. What Venkatesh highlights so succinctly is that making decisions when you are disconnected from reality will ultimately lead to outcomes you didn't expect.

Interestingly enough, the 'rogue' element in the title exists because Venkatesh engaged in a practise that apparently was outside the realm of standard sociology - he actually spent time with the people he was writing about!  Can you imagine that, someone daring to 'get informed' through first hand experience rather than trite and shallow quantitative based market surveys?  Unbelievable, I mean, who does he think he is? :-)  The book itself has some wonderful gems, like the observation that policy makers had no clues about how 'the projects' housing area actually worked and one of the lessons is clear - making decisions from on high without questioning your assumptions and assessing your expectations leads to a pretty fragile final result.

Mr Venkatesh - much Kudos!  Published by Penguin this year, a truly enlightening read to say the least


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