Build for Tomorrow: A book review by Bob Morris

Build for Tomorrow: An Action Plan for Embracing Change, Adapting Fast, and Future-Proofing Your Career
Jason Feifer
Harmony Books (September 2022)

Today is yesterday’s tomorrow…for better or worse.

As I began to read the Introduction to this book, I was again reminded of a passage in T.S. Eliot’s classic work, Four Quartets:

“We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.”

Jason Feifer wrote this book “for absolutely anyone facing down an uncertain future, as well as a practical guide for every entrepreneur and aspiring entrepreneur who hopes to help shape the world. As we reach a critical crossroads in history, we must accept that the future is not optional. We can’t opt out of it. In business, culture, and politics, incumbents will fall and new challengers will rise up. The results will be unpredictable, but as individuals, we cannot slow or stop it.”

The information, insights, and counsel are provided within four separate but interdependent Parts: PANIC! (Chapters 1-4, Pages 13-71), ADAPTATION (Chapters 5-8, Pages 73-128), NEW NORMAL (Chapters 9-12, Pages 129-176), and WOULDN’T GO BACK (Chapters 13-16, Pages 189-250).

These are among the passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Feifer’s coverage:

o Four Phases of Change (Pages 11-12)
o The Drumbeat of Panic (19-24)
o Breaking the Sisyphean Cycle (36-39, 46-52, and 65-71)
o Learning to Live with Loss (42-44)
o In search of the Good Stuff (46-52)

o A Longing for What Never Was (60-65)
o The challenges of change (79-88 and 187-188)
o Other People’s Problems (93-97)
o Change Before You Must (101-114)
o Building a Bridge of Familiarity (146-158)

o The Theory of Theories (159-170)
o What.Is.This.For? (171-176)
o A New Purpose (179-181)
o What the Overlooked Stuff Is For (182-186)
o Build Your Tomorrow (237-250)

In order to “build for tomorrow,” Jason Feifer suggests, we must complete a journey through the aforementioned phases of Panic!, Adaptation, and New Normal in order to reach the ultimate destination, “Wouldn’t Go Back.” He challenges his reader to stop clinging to the past — cherishing all manner of woulda/coulda/shouldas — and embrace what can be accomplished in months and years to come.

In this context, I am again reminded of Tennyson’s Ulysses, old and weary, who remains determined “to strive, to seek, to find…and not to yield.” Jason Feifer suggests that “Wouldn’t Go Back” is the most important of the four phases. “It’s the entire point of the four phases!  Even when we get there, a new change may set us back to Panic, and we start all over again. But our goal, collectively, should be to continually move toward Wouldn’t Go Back — because that’s when we start recognizing and collaborating on the possibilities of tomorrow, and stop wasting our energy trying to recreate the past. It is the reason I am writing this book. I want to help you reach Wouldn’t Go Back. It begins by recognizing that our actions today are building for tomorrow.”

He has shared what he has learned about the WHAT and HOW of achieving success. It remains for those who read this book to select the information, insights, and counsel that are most relevant to their own circumstances, then formulate and execute a plan that will achieve success in a business world that is much more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous today than it was at any prior time that I can recall.


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