Facing the Fold - Reviews
Jay Ogilvy is all but unique among philosophers in that his work meets Marx's oft-quoted challenge of not only interpreting the world, but changing it. Facing the Fold is a luminous distillation of philosophical wisdom and modern management theory. A richer, more readable introduction to the theory and practice of scenario planning does not exist.
Robert W. Fuller - Author of All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity
Jay Ogilvy has for decades been an intrepid pioneer in the development of both the practice and theory of scenario planning. This wonderful collection of his writings is therefore a most welcome and valuable contribution to the field.
Adam Kahane, Reos Partners and University of Oxford, author of Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change
Ogilvy delivers a dramatic advance in scenario thinking, transforming scenarios from mere tools to vehicles for deep discovery in the face of uncertainty. Facing the Fold will change forever the way one thinks about the future and the possibilities it holds.
Paul Saffo, Managing Director, Foresight Discern Analytics
More than ever, we need to be able to think clearly about the future. I can think of no better practitioner and theorist than Jay Ogilvy. I have had the great pleasure and learning experience of participating in several scenario workshops led by Ogilvy over the years-mind-stretching experiences that proved to be prophetic in hindsight.
Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs and Virtual Communities
I have been working with scenarios since they were first introduced in Shell forty years ago. While Pierre Wack was my scenario guru, the most thoughtful guide to thinking scenarically about the future has undoubtedly been Jay Ogilvy, who learned how to think at the feet of Hegel.
Napier Collyns, GBN Cofounder and formerly a colleague of Pierre Wack's at Shell
Ogilvy captures an important thread for restoring hope-he early notes that the American dream, indeed the founding fathers' perspective, was uniquely absent of "moving rhetoric about a new and better humanity... and very little by way of collective dreaming". Yet, such an approach, radically under-appreciated by Business Schools, has informed and driven the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley's remarkable innovative history. Ogilvy's skillful analysis is suggestive of just why it is so powerful. Facing the Fold sets Scenario Planning firmly in the camp of pragmatic, useful tools-almost a 'how-to' manual with copious illuminating examples for practice, with the learned teachings of the ages woven easily into the text. As such, it is a tour de force-a must read for the serious student concerned with both his or her own personal and our collective future.
Chuck House, Executive Director, Media X @ Stanford University
Scenario Planning has become one of the driving thought styles of leadership in our times, particularly in the global private sector, but it is often used in sloppy ways. It requires an almost superhuman effort to escape the traps of narrow organizational mythologies, panic/despair cycles, and emotional attachments to expectations. Scenarios provide a way of focusing human cognition as it is, with all its flaws, on the project of making the best use of incomplete and ambiguous information. Ogilvy brings the razor sharp judgements of a professional philosopher to bear in defining and refining Scenario Planning, and the result is an antidote to sloppiness. Read this book, be prepared to work, and you will probably find yourself thinking more clearly about the future and your present options.
Jaron Lanier, inventor of virtual reality and author of You Are Not a Gadget (2010)
Jay Ogilvy's masterful tour of how to navigate our tragic-comic times might as well have been called, "The Art of Ruthless Optimism". He offers us a hard-to-overvalue life skill-simultaneously holding in our heads contradictory scenarios about what's going to happen to us next. It gives us stereoscopic vision for our lives. The result is good hard decisions that lead to the high road. It's the competence of peaking through the gloom while cheerfully asking, "Are we having fun yet?"
Joel Garreau, Lincoln Professor of Law, Culture and Values, Sandra Day, O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
Thoughtful guy that he is, Jay Ogilvy brings provocative, multidimensional thinking to what often is a pretty flatland discipline practiced by myopic mechanics. He says: "Context is everything", which exposes the nakedness of the trend extrapolation that dominates most futures thinking. Internalize this book. I promise that you will engage the future far more effectively!
John Petersen, President, The Arlington Institute
Scenario thinking, as Ogilvy masterfully argues, provides a crucible wherein our deepest thoughts, highest aspirations and darkest fears of the future can become narratives of normative possibility and choice. Scenario planning provides the stories that can help us create the futures we both want and need. His essays, reflecting a lifetime of experience in public and private settings, should be required reading for those who lead large enterprises and governments of any size, particularly those who believe they know where we are headed, and how to get there.
Eric Best, author and consultant, was a global scenario strategist for investment bank Morgan Stanley (1996-2006) and recently published Into My Father's Wake, a memoir
To some people scenario planning is just another management method. To Jay Ogilvy it goes much deeper. Facing the Fold is his essay collection where the co-founder of Global Business Network, philosopher and experienced scenario planner for 30 years, delves into the deeper philosophical and human aspects of the scenario stance.
P A Martin Börjesson (futuramb) - scenario planner and strategist based in Sweden
This is a very satisfying book that should be read by anyone-beginners and experienced practitioners alike-who is interested in taking wise action in complex and fundamentally uncertain times. Ogilvy's extensive experience as master scenarist with lots of juicy stories to tell, as well as his ability to make clear philosophical ideas such as existentialism, postmodernism and complexity science come together here in his best book yet.
Maureen O'Hara Ph.D. President, International Futures Forum-US; President Emerita, Saybrook University; Professor of Psychology, National University