A book called The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe is undergoing a massive resurgence in sales.
Twenty years after its original publication, its message is as urgent as ever, particularly as White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is using it as a playbook to shape the agenda for the United States. Private equity investors and C-suite executives have been snapping up copies, looking for clues in an uncertain financial, political, and social environment.
What is a Fourth Turning? Like clockwork, over a 300+ year period, major events in United States history have occurred in predictable cyclical patterns, repeating themselves every 80 to 90 years. The Fourth Turning has been characterized as a “crisis” period in U.S. history.
A quick look back into the last three centuries, Fourth Turnings climaxed with major wars—the Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783), Civil War (1861 – 1865), and World War II (1939 – 1945). They are all about 80 years apart. In each case without exception, an economic collapse, a disintegration of social order, and a declining institutional effectiveness preceded these wars, while a new civic order and institutional effectiveness, along with economic growth, followed them.
Each Turning lasts about 20-years, and the Fourth Turning began with the financial crisis of 2008. According to the authors, 2017 puts us smack in the middle of a Fourth Turning.
Check out this article I wrote for Leader’s Edge Magazine to learn more about the cycles of history, clues as to why we are in a Fourth Turning crisis period in U.S. history right now, and what it could means for your business. And make sure to check out my new Fourth Turning landing page with information and links to articles on the topic.
I am scheduling speeches on this topic in the next few months for conferences and executive teams. Email me for availability. For more information and to see some sample slides, click here.