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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Success and Leadership - Book Review: Office Shock: Creating Better Futures for Working and living

Success and Leadership

Book Review: Office Shock: Creating Better Futures for Working and living

Bob Johansen

The authors of the book “Office Shock: Creating Better Futures for Working and living” start with their master stroke big question. “Why do we work in offices at all?” Perhaps the posit is the pivot to the title by Bob Johansen, Joseph Press, and Christine Bullen attempting to draw in greater thinking on “creating better futures for working and living.” The well-crafted book, supported with grounded research and combined knowledge of authors, is an exhibit of thunderbolt thinking. It offers a potentially viable common-sense approach in crafting futures with a foresight. 

The text offers a contextual discussion on how a contemporary workplace crisis has transformed perspectives in managing office work and space. The books locus of control is around ‘office shock’, which is a primarily abrupt in nature and attempts to discuss the where, when, how and why we work. The three futurists put forward their conjecture that office is both a place and a process that they define as office and officing. 

It is a concerned opinion that for any CEO or a leader to prosper, one should be able to have a clear picture on hindsight-insight- and followed by crafting a foresight. It is like seeing the possibilities with a fresh perspective in terms of future-back. This, hence, may dig in better insights and debate  on the purpose if why one goes or must go to the office? What can be the leading expectations from an office goer, especially in the changing landscapes, the contours of the business? The questions arise as to how to augment one’s intelligence? When and where to go to office? And will one be available to create an agile office challenging the old versions of an office?

Office Shock: Creating Better Futures for Working and living

The authors have clearly narrated that as a result of the global turmoil, office shock was an outcome, a combination of discontentment by employees. The culture has changed, positivity has reduced substantially, and work culture is undergoing crises. On the contrary, as the three authors claim onto, unlimited opportunities have risen to embark upon. A new edition of office transforming into ‘officeverse’ has emerged, allowing the incumbent to where, when, and how to work.  The spectrum of thinking has evolved drastically. 

The book is divided into three parts, what future, what next, and what now. Each part navigates seamlessly from future back thinking to spectrum of purpose and hence, making smart choice for individuals, organisations and communities. The book is worth investing time in understanding what futurists think that can trigger to countering ‘future shock’.


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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Success and Leadership - Book Review: Office Shock: Creating Better Futures for Working and living

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Dr. Manoj Joshi
Dr. Manoj Joshi is Patron of the UNESCO Chair on ODL; Professor Extraordinarius, UNISA; authored 5 books “The VUCA Company”, “The VUCA Learner”, “VUCA in Start-ups”, “Business Incubators” and “Unleashing Innovation and Leadership”. A Chartered & Fellow Engineer; Professor of Strategy, Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Director Centre for VUCA Studies & Dy. Dean Research (Mgmt. and Social Sci.) Amity University. Editorial Board with journals JFBM, ISBA, APJM, JSBM, BSE, JEEE, WRMSED etc. 140+ publications. Travelled extensively, 32+ years of experience areas - Screw pumps Design, Heat Exchangers, Loading Arms, consulting, research and teaching on VUCA strategy, weak signals, anticipatory mechanics and crafting foresight; interest in dark matter, dark energy, astral travel, travelling to woods and life after death.


Dr. Manoj Joshi is an opinion columnist and Executive Council member at the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn.