Future Book Forum 2016 with Canon

November 2, 2016 at Munich, Germany

Get ready to reinvent the business book!

At this year’s Future Book Forum in Munich, 2-4 November 2016, we will build on our work of the last two years – when we defined a vision, manifesto and roadmap for the future of book publishing. Last year we have explored the new attitudes and aspirations of millennials, the new world of work, and the business case for making books more profitable – in particular how to find new revenue streams and growth opportunities with new business models. This year, at the largest gathering of the world’s book publishers, we seek to go further – to bring together all our best ideas, and reinvent the book, in one day.

In my recent book “Gamechangers” you can learn from the world’s most disruptive innovators – from Amazon to Buzzfeed, Corning and Desigual, Vice and WeChat, Xiaomi and Zappos – and how they are shaking up every industry. They typically combine audacious ideas and intelligent networks, global and local, digital and physical, collaborative and personal, to engage today’s consumers more deeply, and to find the best future sources of profitable growth.

The question is, how can we shake up the game of publishing – in more powerful, practical and profitable ways.

We start with a manuscript, developed by Thinkers50, the world’s leading platform for business ideas. They asked 50 of the top business gurus to each write a “letter to the CEO” addressing the biggest issues in business right now, and the best ideas to address them.  Our challenge is to think how can we design and deliver this “book” in the most innovate way. How can we bring it to life in bold and visionary ways, across which platforms, how should it be distributed and supported, and have most impact? The book is real, and will be developed based on your choices, then launched to the world’s CEOs at the European Business Forum in Odense on 9-10 May 2017.

Together we will work through three highly accelerated phases of innovation using the best approaches from design thinking, disruptive innovation and concept blueprinting. We’ll also get some outside inspiration as we go. The three phases are

  • Ideas Lab – exploring new possibilities, combining insights and imagination, to stretch and shape our concept.
  • Design Studio – focusing in, connecting and shaping the best ideas, and paradoxes to address, and choices to make.
  • Launch Pad – deciding what will it look like, how will it be used, bought, priced, and a roadmap for implementation.

So, get involved. Don’t be afraid to dream, to share your best ideas. Together as an industry, we can imagine and innovate like none of us individually, to shape new solutions that can secure a better future for all of us. Just imagine – a book of the world’s best business ideas, turned into a radical new concept instantly, and then challenging the world’s business leaders to innovate too!

Building on last year

As a starting point, here is a summary of Future Book Forum 2015:

The manuscript from Thinkers50

Here are some short extracts taken from the contributions to the manuscript for the Thinkers50 “Letter to the CEO” book which is our starting point:

From Tom Peters:

Dear CEO

The easy way to write this letter is to use words like “disruption” in pretty much every paragraph. Then throw in “Big Data” and “IoT”/Internet of Things as often as possible as well. Indeed, we are bombarded by disruptive forces and the likes of the Internet of Things and advanced AI could throw us off stride—or off the bus. (Oh, and “leadership,” “vision,” and “authenticity” must make at least cameo appearances, too.)

For starters, I urge you to hire the brightest young women (and a few young men) to help you deal with all this madness—as to the “young” bit, I assume you are wise enough to have two or three “under thirtys” on your Board and even more on your executive team, right? (If not, are you sleeping?) … 

From Whitney Johnson:

Dear CEO

I talk about disruption and disruptors. For a lot of people, the term ‘disruption’ is heard commonly enough that they tune it out as a mere buzzword. This is unfortunate, because disruption is a powerful force that transforms organizations, communities and ultimately the world. It’s critical to the success of your organization, but the tricky secret is that companies and organization don’t disrupt unless their people do.

According to Towers Perrin, Intl., organizations with a highly engaged workforce increased operating income by 19.2%, while low engagement led to a 32.7% decline in operating profits.

That’s the good news …

From Scott Anthony

Dear CEO

It’s cliché to say that the pace of change is accelerating. Indeed, that statement has arguably been true since the renaissance. But something feels different today. Businesses built painstakingly over decades get ripped apart almost overnight. Innosight’s research shows that 50% of the companies on the S&P 500 will not be on the list in 10 years. Many of the companies that will replace today’s giants likely do not even exist today.

Every business leader needs to think about the impact of ever-accelerating change. Broad trends such as the rise of robots and drones, the disappearance of computers into everyday life, everything-as-a-service, and big data analytics promise to bring disruptive change to every nook and cranny of the global economy …

From Vlatka Hlupic …

Dear CEO

Every once in a while, one comes across a major shift in our way of thinking about society: representation by Parliament, for example, and the concept of human rights.

In business management we are on the threshold of a similar, momentous change. For decades now, the dominant approach has been based around the pursuit of short-term financial targets and cost control, with powerful chief executives deploying human resources as they seek to maximize returns. Concerns for welfare, or for society, were assumed to be an optional extra. You were supposed to choose between profits and conscience.

We now know that this approach is seriously flawed – and from a business perspective, as well as from social and environmental considerations. What is interesting is that business leaders are now forming part of a consensus challenging …

From Costas Markides:

Dear CEO

Any CEO of a publicly traded company is under intense pressure to maximize shareholder value. This has always been the case but it has become increasingly so in the last few years as a result of more aggressive and impatient investors as well as more data availability and accounting transparency.  The need to do this every year—or every quarter—hangs over the head of every CEO like the “sword of Damocles”.  Fail to deliver for a quarter or two and you’d better start looking for a new job! Yet, for any CEO aspiring for success, this is exactly the wrong thing to be pursuing.

It is important to understand why …

The letters are short, fresh and important. They deserve more than to be thrown together in another 300 page, densely printed, boring paperback picked up at airport booksellers. How will we, together reinvent the book?

Find out more and book >