Once upon a time planning for the future was a "staff" function. Over at Global HQ there would be a group of inky-fingered boffs beavering away at a series of "what if?" problems. What if there is a revolution in country X? What if our product turns out to be fatal to our customers? What if our new wonder-technology turns out to be an evolutionary cul-de-sac?
The future was something you could possibly see coming, but the present was where all the action was. Now that's all changed. The future comes at us so fast these days and from so many different directions that it is no longer sufficient for a company just to rely on a look-out with a telescope perched atop the corporate planning function. The whole crew needs to be armed with binoculars, constantly scanning the horizon for brave new worlds of opportunity and hidden threats that can sink an enterprise--no matter how large--in a matter of years or even months.
In short, the future is now a line issue. This and the Millennium explain the extraordinary rise of the futurist industry and the plethora of books dealing with the future.
The Dream Society is the latest and one of the wisest of these tomes. Its thesis is that human society has evolved from the hunter-gatherer era through agricultural and then industrial societies to most recently the information society; but shortly we are to enter the dream society. Its distinguishing characteristic is that in a world of material affluence in which much of current work is rendered obsolete by technology companies will compete through their myths. The product will be secondary and instead the company with the best story will win.
Written by Rolf Jensen, Director of the highly respected academic think-tank The Copenhagen Institute, the book tracks the implications of this observation on corporate and consumer behaviour in the industrialised countries. Companies will become tribes and work will become "hard fun". He writes: "The market for dreams would soon eclipse the market for information-based reality. The market for feelings would eclipse the market for tangible products".
It would be easy to dismiss this as a load of touchy-feely Scandinavian fantasy were it not for its academic rigour and honesty. "The Dream Society is a theory about the future; therefore it cannot be verified", admits Jensen. This book is not a prediction of what will be but a fascinating, thought-provoking discussion of what may be. --Alex Benady
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
How Market Leaders from Disney to Nike Successfully Target Human Emotionsand How Other Companies Can Join Them
The Dream Society reveals the future of business after the Information Age, a future in which the story behind the product will provide the competitive edge. It provides insights into the six major markets that target our basic emotional needs, and discusses how organizations from Disney and Nike to Rolex are supplying information to help consumers satisfy those needs. Thought-provoking and timely, it details the ways in which today's dream society trades on the exciting world of human potential and dreamsand what organizations must do to keep from being left behind.
Praise for The Dream Society:
"A riveting essay on the demands for goods and services ... Well presented and organized, this is highly recommended for academic and corporate libraries."
"The Dream Society is a fresh new way to look at the future and at how businesses need to transform themselves in order to prosper in the 21st century."
Arnold Brown, Noted futurist, Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc.
"Stories have always been the key motivation in making a purchase, fixing a deal, and raising one's level of effectiveness in the world. In the future, leaders will have to become storytellers first and managers second. Rolf Jensen is pointing the way to the future."
Harriet Rubin, Author, The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women