The Titanic and The Butterfly book forms the central focus of my mission to help create transformative change for us to rise to the challenges of the 21st Century, from an individual right up to a global level.
I have committed myself to work tirelessly to ensure this project is a success.
Why This Book Is Needed
We’re at a critical point in our history. We’re using resources faster than the earth can replenish them. At our current level of consumption we would need one and a half planets for it to be sustainable, and developing economies are all accelerating this trend. If everyone had the same standard of living as the US we’d need more than 3 planets worth of resources to sustain us.
Most of us know this, and yet both individually and collectively we’re behaving in ways that are in denial of this truth.
Just as the Titanic was holed by an iceberg and sank, we’re also surrounded by ‘icebergs’ that could sink our economic and social systems if we continue to ignore them.
This book examines how the current situation has evolved, and illustrates how we can achieve a future we all desire for ourselves and the generations to follow, without having to resort to an ascetic, primitive ‘back to nature’ lifestyle.
In short, it’s about how we can create a vibrant and sustainable future everyone can buy into, while enjoying better and more fulfilled lives.
Who’s It For?
People of my generation (I’m 63) have mostly already decided where they stand and are either trying to live more sustainably, or are well set in their existing denial behaviours. Talking to them would therefore be either like preaching to the converted, or wasting breath on convinced non-believers!
But there’s a generation that is searching for answers. They my have been to university, left and struggled to find a decent job, waitressed to make ends meet, and finally found that job and started working their way up the corporate ladder whilst paying off their student debt. Or they may have been let down by the education system and are working their way through a succession of meaningless jobs in search of something that works for them.
If they’re married or in a relationship, they’re probably putting off having children, or questioning whether to have them at all. Getting on the property ladder’s hard for most couples, so setting up a stable home environment can be difficult. And then there’s the question of who will stay at home with the kids if they do decide to have them as, so often these days, she’s the main earner.
The overriding problem for them is trying to see a meaningful future. There’s so much negativity out there. What kind of future can there possibly be? For them; for their children; for mankind?
This phenomenon of generalised anxiety among 25 to 35-year-olds is now being recognised by psychologists as “Quarter-Life Crisis.” They can struggle to make decisions due to the overwhelming range of choices available, and experience depression from a sense of being locked into a lifestyle and circumstances they never bought into. There’s a growing disconnect between who they feel they are, and the life they’re increasingly living.
And that’s who my book is aimed at: these quarter-lifers searching for answers. I want to give them hope, to show them a way forward, and to give them a process where they can find meaning in their lives and play a full part in creating the kind of future we all desire.
There are over 8 million 25 to 35-year olds in the UK, and approximately 40 million in the US.
Firstly, I don’t like the concept of competition as it implies a win-lose mentality, which is a significant part of the problem the book is addressing.
But leaving that aside, what are the other books available that might also be vying for the attention of my potential readers?
Let’s start by being totally clear about the market: this is not a sustainability book, and definitely not a business-bashing book. It’s more a philosophical look at modern life – business, consumption, politics, leadership etc. – and the antidote to quarter-life crisis. Think Malcolm Gladwell, but made more accessible for people who find it hard to deal with pages of unbroken text.
So the most direct comparison would probably be ‘lite’ personal development, change and leadership titles, like:
· The Chimp Paradox by Steven Peters (over 500,000 copies sold)
· 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman (can’t find sales figures)
· Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson (over 26 million sold)
· Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter (over 1 million copies sold)
The Premise: Disconnects and Their Solution
People generally don’t feel connected to the systems they’re a part of. They are too remote from the centre of control making them feel insignificant, powerless, and therefore disaffected.
I’ll examine the factors that have led to these current disconnects (or ‘icebergs’) in society, the economy, politics and the environment, and revealing some key insights on what the underlying issues are.
The inability of the systems we live in to adapt stem from the fact that they’re not sufficiently connected to individuals, and even the leadership lacks the power needed to bridge the divide.
Individuals and leaders need to feel a part of the system, not apart from it, and I’ll be sharing some simple processes to enable individuals, organisations and leaders to transform themselves and achieve far greater alignment.
Style and Tone
This is intended to be a book that can reach out to regular people, so it will be written in an accessible style with minimum jargon.
There are some excellent books out there on the subject, but they always seem to be written with a very heavy academic hand – like PhD papers masquerading as books.
I want this book to popularise the concepts covered by de-mystifying them and presenting them in straightforward and practical ways.
“Quotes will be in bigger text and with a different font so they stand out.”
The design should create a ‘double readership pathway’ by providing box-outs and cartoons highlighting key points, making the information easily accessible to individuals who normally have difficulty concentrating long enough to read regular books.
The Titanic and The Butterfly Franchise
The book is an important vehicle for getting this vital message out into the world, but there are also many more opportunities available, for example:
· A Titanic Factor book series co-authored with sector specialists. Each of the ‘Iceberg’ chapters could easily be expanded into a book in it’s own right, e.g. The Titanic Factor: Education, The Titanic Factor: The Economy, etc.
· TV Series – similarly, the book could form the basis of a stimulating TV series with programmes about each of the main subject areas. I will be pursuing this idea through my contact network.
· The Titanic and The Butterfly website with online resources to support the book, including exercises, self-completion tests, guided visualisations and meditations etc.
· Speaking engagements. I am undertaking intensive training in how to increase my speaking opportunities and use them to generate sales. Ultimately I want to be able to gain exposure and promote the book(s) and message through Pas, including TV and radio. And TEDtalks too!
· Titanic Change Consultancy offering transformative change to organisations, using the process outlined in the book. (I heard of one consultant/author – I believe it was Spencer Johnson – who got a major client to buy a copy of his book for every one of their executives, running into thousands!)
In addition to The Titanic and The Butterfly franchise, there are further books available:
· 108 Brilliant Leadership Tips – a compilation of the best from my weekly ‘Midweek BLT’ email, which runs to over 170 issues.
· Turbo:Teams! How to build high performing teams with Purpose, Passion and Focus.
· Think and Grow Rich in the 21st Century – an updated version of Napoleon Hill’s classic, incorporating the latest thinking on success.
The solution to the problems confronting us over the next generation lie in bringing leaders and individuals closer together so they can create outcomes that work for everyone, not just the few.
Part of this is raising awareness among leaders of the huge potential for innovation if they can tune into and tap the collective intelligence and needs of individuals. But the biggest shift needed is for individuals to recognise their power, take personal responsibility and know that they can make a difference – and to demand that their leaders are doing the right thing.
It’s my intention for this book to have a significant influence in starting this process.