Leadership & Strategy in a Changing World
We wrote a book to help you thrive in an environment of increasing change.
Globalization and technology are increasing the frequency of catalyst events—which trigger big changes with broad-reaching effects—ranging from innovations to socioeconomic crises. The consequences of these upheavals will transform industries, communities, and nations. Leaders who seek to ensure their organization’s success in the evolving environment must be prepared and proactive.
“Joseph and Bret have brilliantly captured the forces shaping our future and the challenges and opportunities they present the private and public sectors. A must read for tomorrow’s leaders.”
General (retired) George W. Casey, Jr.
Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Leadership, S.C. Johnson College of Business, Cornell University; 36th Chief of Staff, U.S. Army (2007 – 2011) and Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq (2004-2007)
Why we wrote Catalyst
This is an amazing time to be alive. We are on the precipice of massive changes that are reshaping industries, societies, and the global economy. Work, power, manufacturing, technology, and cities are all transforming faster than business and government systems have historically demonstrated the ability to adapt. The top-down, hierarchical, efficiency-focused organizational structures that have served us well over the past 150 years are breaking down in the face of sweeping structural change. Agility, adaptability, and vision have become the key determinants of success across all types of organizations.
In this book we show readers how change works, why disruption is happening more quickly, how to adapt, and what leadership it necessitates. We also identify several emerging catalysts that are altering market and geopolitical realities today and demonstrate how corporate, government, and academic sectors can thrive amid these transformations.
Catalyst is the spark leaders need to understand these emerging forces and to build adaptive organizations that will excel in the rapidly evolving environment.
The Key Things You’ll Learn Inside
Don’t Take Our Word For It
“Kopser and Boyd explore demographic and technological changes reshaping the developed world. Catalyst is a vital resource for policymakers trying to understand and respond to disruption and high-tech innovation.”
Susan A. Shaheen, PhD
Adjunct professor and codirector of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center, University of California, Berkeley
“We are living in a period of exponential change, as Ray Kurzweil teaches us. Joseph and Bret are very accomplished military and business leaders and have unusually blended these two schools of leadership into their brilliant book, Catalyst, taking account of the more rapidly changing era we are living in. Leadership is more important than ever, and Joseph and Bret’s book will help you survive—and thrive—during this very important period, where opportunity is more abundant but also risks are more perilous.”
Brett A. Hurt
Founder of Bazaarvoice, Coremetrics, data.world, and Hurt Family Investments
“Kopser and Boyd offer a sweeping tour of the big technologies and future shifts that are catalysts for change now—as diverse as genomics and 3-D printing, robotics and new sources of energy. They make the case that leaders in all sectors must be alert, flexible, and innovative in order to turn the possible threats from these changes into major opportunities.”
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, PhD
Harvard Business School Professor and best-selling author of MOVE: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead and Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End
“Joseph Kopser and Bret Boyd are unique individuals who combine real-world leadership and hardship experiences in the field, in the line of fire, and in the theater of battle with world-class academic pedigrees to produce lasting insights that we can all apply to our personal, business, and policy challenges. Their ideas are what we need to get things back on track, and they share them with anecdotes, stories, authenticity, and a refreshing dose of humility. I recommend this book.”
Michael Webber, PhD
Deputy director of the Energy Institute and codirector of the Clean Energy Incubator, University of Texas at Austin
Who is this book for?
The most important leaders in organizations are most often not the CEO, Governor, or President—they are the line leaders who are closest to the tip of the spear. These are the business unit managers, technologists, and public servants at the forefront of change. Catalyst helps these professionals understand how their efforts fit into the overall organizational strategy architecture, and how to leverage their expertise to elevate their companies and careers.
Senior leaders who are responsible for strategy in business, government, and the academic sector must understand how much risk they are undertaking by maintaining old approaches in the new environment, and how much opportunity is available amid transformation. While it is impossible to be expert in everything, Catalyst helps leaders gain a broad perspective of key areas of emerging transformation that are impacting all industries and geographies.
Early and mid-career professionals have both a challenge and opportunity to align their skills with emerging macro trends to ensure they remain on the leading edge of their industries and career fields. We are past the time when a university degree provides the knowledge to excel throughout a 35-year career—industries are now being reinvented of 5-10 year cycles. Catalyst helps forward-thinking professionals maximize their career potential by riding the waves created by transformation.
The Globally Engaged
Globally engaged citizens understand that the world is changing, and that these emerging global transformations have deep social, political, and economic implications that must be understood at all levels. Catalyst helps all citizens identify how the world is changing, what it will look like in the near future, and how to prepare their families, communities, and businesses so that they can thrive in the emerging world.
Meet The Authors
“Change is about people and we must focus on the human element when we implement new strategies.”
Joseph Kopser is a technology entrepreneur, thought leader in Smart Cities innovation, and the cofounder of the Grayline Group. Before joining Grayline, Joseph was the Global President of moovel Group GmbH, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz. Prior to his role at moovel, Joseph co-founded and served as CEO of RideScout, a Texas-based technology company that enabled seamless multimodal experiences and connected transit commerce to app users worldwide. In 2015, RideScout acquired GlobeSherpa, a market leader in mobile ticketing for public transit. Prior to starting Ridescout, Joseph served in the U.S. Army for 20 years earning the Combat Action Badge, Army Ranger Tab and Bronze Star. Joseph is a graduate of West Point with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and also received a Masters from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2002. In his free time, he works closely with The Bunker Austin, an organization dedicated to supporting veteran entrepreneurs, as well as the Texas Lyceum, the Truman National Security Project, the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Association of Business.
“Strategy can only succeed when it is built on correct assumptions about the future operating environment.”
Bret Boyd is a strategy and corporate development executive with extensive experience in the defense, energy, technology, and finance sectors. Bret cofounded the Grayline Group, where he works with organizations on strategy and change management issues. He also works closely with Stratfor, a geopolitical analysis and forecasting firm. Previously, Bret built and led the enterprise business unit at Stratfor, where he advised a variety of multinational corporations and investment groups on strategy and international growth issues. Prior to Stratfor, Bret served as an executive in a venture-backed technology company and helped build the strategy practice for a boutique aerospace consulting firm. Bret began his career as an infantry officer in the United States Army and served under the U.S. Special Operations Command in the 75th Ranger Regiment. During his military service, Bret deployed to combat operations in Iraq four times and to stability operations in other regions. Bret is a graduate of West Point, where he studied international relations and systems engineering.
Join the Catalyst Monitor
Join our community, where we push out regular updates and insights that build upon the key themes we explore in our book.
Grayline helps sort the signal from the noise to focus on developments that are truly transformational. Consider our newsletter as a tool to help stay informed.