Strategist slows down to make a splash with The Bold Ones

· The Pulse

Shawn Kanungo makes his living speaking and strategizing about disruption. He has published hundreds of videos. He has tens of thousands of followers on social media.

So why on Earth would he do something as old-school as writing a book?

"When everything's fast and easy and transactional and seamless … actually doing something slow and traditional and boring and just tangible can actually create disproportionate value," he said.

Hence, The Bold Ones: Innovate and Disrupt to Become Truly Indispensable, which was published by McGraw-Hill on Dec. 6. It's billed as a "practical and inspirational playbook" for those wishing to advance their careers and push their companies forward, drawing lessons from a variety of "change agents" throughout history.

Putting his ideas down on paper also helps him illustrate a theory he has about the power of wasting time — there are faster, more optimized ways to convey and consume information, but those are not necessarily the best ways.

"Wasting your time is great," he told Bloom co-host Faaiza Ramji. "That's where you explore, you play, you build trust and relationships, and we should waste more of our time."

Writing a book is also the sort of thing you do "if you want to be in this game of thought leadership," which Kanungo most certainly does. After 12 years of consulting at Deloitte, he fully committed to a career as a keynote speaker and strategist through Queen & Rook in 2018.

A seated Shawn Kanungo sits on a couch looks at the camera with intensity while holding his book, The Bold Ones, beside a round table with more copies.

Strategist and speaker Shawn Kanungo's book, The Bold Ones, was officially released on Dec. 6. (LinkedIn)

That's not to say that dead trees will always be his medium of choice for getting big ideas across.

"Maybe the next one, we go and do something super-disruptive," he said, musing about the possibilities of the metaverse. "But at least for the first one, doing something that slow, I actually enjoyed the process."

And it has already been a trip to hear from the people he has reached in this way, he said.

"Imagine having your own brain being distributed around the world. And now people are consuming it, they have something tangible that they can point to … It's the most surreal experience ever."

The Bold Ones is available on all the usual online platforms, but Kanungo suggested you might want to engage in the "wasteful" but rewarding experience of picking it up from an independent bookstore. Another option is to get the audiobook, which he recorded himself. It will be released on Audible on Dec. 27.

"It's delicious," he said. "It's going to be ear ice cream!"

Listen to the full interview on the Dec. 15 episode of Bloom, Taproot's podcast about innovation in Edmonton.