Rewarding Young Writers Researching The Business Trends Of The Future
The Bracken Bower Prize is a prize that was initiated by the Financial Times and McKinsey & Company. It was named after Brendan Bracken who was the chairman of the Financial Times from 1945 to 1958 and additionally Marvin Bower who was the managing director of McKinsey from 1950 to 1967. The prize seeks to reward the best proposal for a book that focuses on the challenges and opportunities of growth, and the winning proposal should be forward thinking. The prize is somewhat based on the principles of the Business Book of the Year Award also launched by McKinsey & Company and the Financial Times, and it seeks to get promising young writers to research excellent ideas for future business books. Bower and Bracken are seen as individuals that put in place the foundations for the success of their respective organisations in the present day.
If you’re wondering what the prize entails, well, aside from the prestige associated with winning such a coveted award, the author or co-authors of the selected book proposal will be awarded £15,000. The prize is to be awarded to young writers that are able to identify and analyse the business trends of the future. What do you have to do to get selected for the prize? Well, the requirement was to submit a book proposal that is no more than 5,000 words in total. The book proposal had to include an essay article that discussed the argument, scope and style of the suggested book. There also needed to be a description of the final book’s structure once it is finished, which could include chapter headings and a bullet pointed description of what would go into each chapter.
The very first prize, awarded in 2014, was to be for a book that seemed as if it will be likely to:
“Provide a compelling and enjoyable insight into future trends in business, economics, finance or management.”
The blurb about the prize points out that those authors that were likely to be shortlisted would be those that suggest that they will write a book that is ground breaking, or that looks at existing business challenges in novel ways. Creativity, knowledge, originality and style in particular are sought. Not everyone or every book proposal is eligible for the prize unfortunately, and as the FT points out, authors had to be under 35 on November 11th 2014, the day when the prize was due to be awarded. The author was able to be an existing published author, but the proposal made for this prize had to be for a completely new book, and the proposal was not allowed to have been previously submitted to a publisher. People submitting for the prize were welcome to co-author a submission, and all applicants were expected to submit a biography. The biography needed to emphasise why the author was qualified to write the book that they proposed to, and all highly thought of proposals were to get published on the FT.com.
Womenomics in the Muslim World
Three books were shortlisted for the prize, but the one that won was by Saadia Zahidi. The book proposal was to write a book about Womenomics in the Muslim World. The proposal explains that there are 800 million women in the Muslim World. A female education is becoming more normal and women are in the world of work in the Muslim world. It is reported by Zahidi that 40 million more Muslim women are in work than a decade ago. This represents a considerable break from family tradition and in some cases also shunning cultural pressures. It also represents a growing group of consumers. Overall the book argues that economics trumps culture.
Two other books were shortlisted. One was by Alysia Garmulewicz and focused on the subject of 3D printing. This book proposal showed that the book would explore the issue of how 3D printing would be likely to bring considerable change to the economy. Meanwhile, a book proposal called “One Level Up” by Jenny Palmer which discusses how university does not really prepare people for life in the real world, aside from in fields like medicine and law. The book proposal described a book that would be focused on six principles that would help to drive an individual’s career, including building a personal network and being smart about politics.
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.