Eric Best is an author, speaker and strategic consultant. His unique style of scenario thinking has had appreciable impacts on individuals and company behaviors around the world. He believes that scenario inquiry in the face of uncertainty leads to invaluable insights, enabling clients to better calculate their risks and define appropriate action in today’s markets. Applying four core principles to guide his work, he has developed methods to draw on “the wisdom of the crowd” for any enterprise, investor or individual.
Eric began his sailing life in Maine’s Penobscot Bay, cruising and racing with his father along the New England coast. After 20 years as a journalist, in 1988 Eric embarked on a 5000-mile solo sail from San Francisco to Hawaii and back aboard a 47-foot ketch that inspired two books: “Into My Father’s Wake,” chronicles his solo sailing journey to put his powerful father to rest; “The Deep,” is a whimsical children’s story about imagination and the ocean. (Its animated version can be found at www.whatcouldpossiblybe.com.)
In 1990, Eric joined the core group that developed Global Business Network in California from a startup to the preeminent scenario-planning consultancy in the United States. Among the clients for whom he developed scenarios were Motorola, Monsanto, Homestake Mining, Price Waterhouse, Andersen Consulting and the CIA.
In 1995, Eric began a decade on Wall Street after Morgan Stanley asked him to help explore what the Internet would mean to financial services. The bank then hired Eric to apply scenario thinking to the future of Japan, Europe, China, capital markets, hedge funds and currencies. As a Managing Director he worked for numerous banking clients on topics that included the Future of Warfare, asset management, Y2K, EMU, and prime brokerage, etc.) His approach was credited with saving Morgan Stanley more than $1 billion by avoiding a major acquisition in Japan.
Eric founded Best Partners S.C. LLC in 2006 to apply his techniques across a wide range of industries. His engagement technique combines journalistic research and in-depth interviews with executive coaching and scenario-based workshops. Most recently he has helped a global banking client shape its $1.4 billion transformation approach to information technology; a global holding company react to uncertainties in Europe; and a global financial services firm anticipate capital market evolution in China.
Eric believes the forces of change are unfolding more radically than ever. These include information technology and data flows, unrest in the Middle East, the effects of developed-country slowdowns (US-Europe-Japan), sovereign debt burdens, climate change and demographic impacts, to name a few. These require more imagination, greater flexibility and speed of reaction by the enterprise and by individuals. He considers US-China relations and business-culture leadership to be among the most important challenges facing corporate performance and global development.
Eric attended the Stanford University graduate program in fiction and creative writing after completing his bachelors degree at Hamilton College (1970). His 20-year newspaper career included the Lowell Sun, the Stockton California Record, USA Today and the San Francisco Examiner. He won a 1983 Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, where he studied the nature of capitalism and economic behaviors.
Eric has offices in Carmel, New York and Jersey City, New Jersey. He can be reached at 845-225-5030.