Spent last weekend devouring Joshua Cooper Ramo's "The Age of the Unthinkable." Joshua is way smarter than anyone has a right to be, and while he frowns on those who render the complex and intricate into the simple and easily-explained, he does just that with such heady subjects as the new world order and the public policy needed to deal with it.
Yeah, my usual weekend reading. Can't wait to get back to it later today.
So much of what Joshua, a former high-ranking editor at Time Magazine, has to say is brain-expanding, but given this blog's raison d'etre, this passage, about the credentials needed for today's foreign policy careers, was particularly appropos (bullets mine):
- "(They) should be able to speak and think in revolutionary terms.
- "They should have expertise in some area of the world where fast change and unpredictability are the dominant facts of life.
- "They should have mastered the essential skill of the next fifty years: crisis managment.
- "Most of all, however, we need policy makers and thinkers who have that intuitive revolutionary feel for the inescapable demands of innovation."
For years, one of the theories I've espoused is that proactivity is overrated and that being reactive is not just underrated, but the more desirable and essential skill, particularly these days. How does one plan in a world of increasing unpredictable chaos? Well, happy to see these thoughts valdated and vindicated by someone way wiser than yours truly.
And now, back to the Ramo opus...