The 100 Year Life by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott
The 100 Year Life: Yorkshire Powerhouse Score 7/10
You might not consider this a business book, it most certainly is.
Who will gain the most from reading this book?
Serious thinkers who can’t see themselves in the same business for ever.
The 100 Year Life is very definitely a book that sets out to make you think, the corollary of that though is that there is very little actionable in the book, you have to work that out for yourself. It will mean something different to every reader depending on their perspective on life.
You could read it as not a business book at all, but if you think of the opportunity to run multiple businesses through a lifetime, or to serve people throughout an extended life span it changes complexion.
100 years is a scary prospect, raising important questions about how much money, education and flexibility you’ll need to get by.
Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott’s book provides an excellent first step in addressing these questions. The narrative looks at how to build both the tangible and intangible assets which are now essential part of life and career planning. It covers everything from savings to relationships with helpful case studies of how a 100 year life may play out.
The chances are everyone will take away something different from this book. For me it clarified all the vague angst I had a been feeling when I tried to imagine the longer working lives and how inevitably the average businessman would curl up at the thought of running the same business for 50 plus years, that is always assuming the clients still need the service offered.
The book does focus on the prospects for the driven, educated and those who have created the money to buy themselves time and choices, quite obviously the lack of these things narrows down the opportunity for the majority.
The implications for the business world are huge in terms of leadership, and when focusing on the start-up, SME or entrepreneur market one comes to the concept of constant reinvention. The mantra would have to be to start, build, grow, exploit and then retrain before starting the whole process over again, and again and again.
Equally though, the implications for the business world are huge in terms of the opportunities to find new cohorts of customers, new niches to serve and also to create clubs of like-minded people which companies can sustain and serve. Effectively, businesses can create and recreate markets of their own time and time again by reinventing themselves.
Could a Yorkshire perspective improve this book?
The book does go on a bit, perhaps the author thinks there is no need for brevity when we live to 100!
The book does become a bit fanciful when it discusses couples coordinating their careers to accommodate firstly child care but then also training or re-education breaks. The chances of two entrepreneurial, driven individuals peacefully working that out in harmony seem unlikely.
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