The End of Normal

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US economist James Galbraith says that “Things are going to be more difficult going forward than most people think.”

His new book “The End of Normal — The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth” (just published) argues that the slump following 2008 was “qualitatively different” from other recessions, because rather than being caused by external shocks or policy changes it included “a large element of internal institutional collapse.”

Galbraith argues that since the second world war we have we have become used to perpetual growth as ‘normal’. “We are at the end of the period,” he says, “where that is a good guide to what is going to happen going forward.”

The “Great Crisis” that his book describes is The Churning.

The coming economic sea-change will mean a change in the results that we can expect from our businesses. That in turn will have to mean a change in the way we run them, a change in Outer Leadership.

At the same time we will all experience an inner, personal, emotional change. That will require new Inner Leadership to get us through.

Galbraith finishes this eight minute interview by making some specific recommendations. And he then points out that despite the worsening situation, we are still stuck in the old mental models and assumptions of growth. “We are not drilling down to the questions that need to be asked and answered,” he says.

This failure to face reality is only delaying the crisis point, and making it worse.

The need for this book, The Churning, is growing.

(James K Galbraith is the son of the renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith.)

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