When I started this blog I took the decision to keep it linked to the professional side of my life, whereas others areas of my interests (politics, broader topics) are something that I normally cover in other domains.
However this book by Italian journalist Sergio Rizzo, deserves some attention. For the non Italian readers, Sergio Rizzo is editor at La Repubblica, and author of numerous books on the issues that Italy has been facing over the past years. He has never been soft or careful with politicians, but with this book he goes full steam against the danger of just letting things “happen”.
In the book he tells the story of a dystopian future where the two current parties leading the Italian Government, perpetrate the so called “Plan B” and force the exit of Italy from Euro over a weekend. The results are a disaster for the economy, obviously, despite the warnings of many, especially one part of the government persists in the plan.
It’s not a story of the “good” and the “bad”, all actors seem at fault here: EU institutions, opposition parties, economic actors. But then the inevitable happens and the country is forced down a path of no return.
Lessons extend beyond this book,.
However, the scariest element about this book is the fact that this dystopian future resembles too much to today’s reality. A bit like the famous The Simpsons episode “Bart to The Future“, that, aired almost 20 years ago, depicted the presidency of Donald Trump.
A possible future Trump presidency just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom. It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane
And the writer of the episode, Dan Greaney, later commented how much this was meant to depict the worst possible alternative. Yet it materialized.
There are multiple causes for this, and definitely the “fake news” part is just the last one of them. But what scares me is the inability to distinguish the roots of the problem and the risk of not taking relevant actions.
Eventually we were all surprised when Trump won the presidency or when Brexit passed the referendum. Many were surprised. But all the “early warnings” of these were looming around us for a lot of time.
We do face so many similar situations also in companies and organizations, when we fail to listen actively to the early warnings that are coming from markets, competition, customer. And we continue to think that our organization can work isolated from the rest of the world.