OK, cut a guy some slack, but I found this one of the most profoundly thoughtful reactions to Growth Is Dead: Now What? that I’ve seen (from a very recent review on Amazon):
In last month’s Harvard Business Review (March 2013), Larry Downes and Paul F. Nunes suggest the first and best defense for market leaders against “big bang disruptions” in their markets is, quite plainly, to make sure they “see [the disruption] coming”. How can market leaders see radical change coming before it’s too late? First, organizations must find their industry’s “truth-tellers”.
According to Nunes and Dowes, while truth-tellers are hard to find, and even harder to listen to, they often play crucial roles in helping organizations navigate and survive disruptive market forces. “In every industry there are a handful of these visionaries, whose talents are based on equal parts genius and complete immersion in the industry’s inner workings.” In the post-Lehman global economy, Bruce MacEwen has emerged as the legal industry’s sharpest “truth-teller.” “Growth Is Dead” is a sobering and serious contemplation of the radical “disruptions” facing the legal profession today. If you are a lawyer, work with lawyers, or are pursuing a career in law, add this book to your reading list. MacEwen’s analysis is lucid and frank: law firms must adapt, or perish.
Despite the cautionary tone, though, and the seemingly fatalistic title, “Growth is Dead” is decidedly optimistic, even hopeful, about the re-imagining and re-tooling of an industry and a profession that the author has deemed worthy, not merely of his careful reporting and thoughtful analysis, but of his earnest and generous stewardship.
I offer it not to flatter the good judgment of those of you have read Growth Is Dead (we’ll save that for another time and place), but to urge those of you who may have found the title or the subject off-putting to take a second look, and to do so using the voice and evaluative perspective of someone other than myself.