Jericho Notices – February 2020: Learning to Love Uncertainty

by .

The General Election is over – somebody seems to have “won the argument”. Brexit, we are led to believe, is now a “done deal”, so banned from the lexicon. February’s Jericho Notices is therefore dedicated to three brilliant new books from Jericho colleagues and friends – essential reading amid the daffodils, snowdrops and sunny optimism that comes with Spring.


There is no certain future

Uncharted: How to Map The Future Together is the wonderful new work from Margaret Heffernan – every bit as insightful, provocative and inspiring as the seminal Wilful Blindness.

Uncharted argues for embracing, not fearing, complexity, curiosity and uncertainty. It offers a vital counterpoint for the many false narratives of our times. Heffernan rails against infantilising the “certain” future that is falsely promised to us and rightly exposes politicians’ cheap and sometimes craven mis-use of history. Despite what the tech giants and soundbite leaders want us to believe, any “certain” prediction of an asymmetrical world is entirely futile. Instead, we need to learn to love uncertainty – and would be better off “thinking like an artist” meanwhile.

I was privileged to read an advance copy of Uncharted and instinctively described it as “an urgent read…. Karl Popper for the 21st Century”. This is the book that all business leaders should be waiting for: it is as wise as it is important. A sneak preview is available here.

Getting It Done – on Monday

The Monday Revolution is the first book from David Mansfield – former Chief Executive, Capital Radio; now angel investor and serial NED. 

Hugely practical, The Monday Revolution brings a much-needed urgency to what we can do right now in order to avoid catastrophic errors in business and the workplace. David should know, he has been there and bought the rock ‘n roll t-shirts.

Rich in stories and practical tips, The Monday Revolution is, like David, delightfully waspish and witty, punchy and practical – a Just Get It-Done manifesto for our over-complicated, jargonistic business times.

Read and discover David’s six steps towards taking control of your business life, from learning how to invest your time wisely to finding better ways to solve problems and make efficient decisions.

David and I have been friends for 25+ years. I really should have listened.

I will be interrogating David over coffee & croissants at The Ivy Club on Thursday 5 March. We will be joined by the peerless Professor Lynda Gratton, future of work guru and award-winning author of The Shift and The 100 Year Life. Get in touch if you would like to come along.

Return to Uncertainty – The Squiggly Career

Fans of Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis’ excellent podcast series (a UK Number 1) will recognise both the title and the content of the third book on Jericho’s Spring reading list.

The authors’ thinking mirrors Margaret Heffernan’s call to embrace uncertainty – all the more important given how work is such a significant part of our personal identities.

“Careers today”, they write, “are characterised by change, uncertainty and ambiguity and feel altogether ‘squigglier’ than those of previous generations. The idea of a career ladder is no longer relevant or motivating as a guide for our career ambitions.”

Kick away that ladder and find out more in Sarah’s most recent blog for Jericho.

Jericho has spent the past four years exploring Good Work from a more human perspective (none of us fancy becoming little more than “bad robots”). If you would like to get involved, please drop us a line – likewise on any other Jericho projects, from Responsible Tax and Social Justice in Tech. to A Caring Society.

More about What We Do can be found on the Jericho website. Listen-out for Episode 2 of The Trust Delusion podcast – due in early March, by which time Spring will be in full bloom.


Robert Phillips

Sign up to be kept up to date