June 24

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What could you learn from ‘No Ordinary Disruption’ by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika & Jonathan Woetzel (2015, 207 pages)

The world is changing.

This platitude often trotted out by politicians, media pundits and people in business, is both tautologist and useless.  The world has always changed, but change creates both challenges and opportunities.  By understanding and anticipating change, you can reduce the risk of disruption and position yourself to grasp opportunities.

In ‘No Ordinary Disruption’ the authors build a compelling case for the driving forces of change over the next decade.  The authors argue that growing urbanisation, accelerating technological change, an ageing world and greater global connectivity will drive change.  While these drivers of change are explained in more detail below, it is worth exploring what this means for you and your business.

Growing urbanisation will mean that cities, especially faster-growing cities in China and other developing countries, will drive growth.  To compete, you will need to have a presence in these new centres of growth.

Accelerating technological change will change who derives the most value from creating services and products.   The value will shift from those who have physical resources, to those who have the knowledge and the ability interact with the most customers.  Capital extensive industries will have to adapt, to prevent becoming merely the providers of physical products, while the majority of the value is captured by others who control the user interface and value adding services.

An ageing world will pose serious challenges to the public sectors, but it will provide new opportunities for businesses.  As people retire later, the existing employee-company relationships will need to change.  Companies will need to make working more flexible, allowing older workers to continue to work until much later.  As these older workers work longer, their wealth and power will increase, creating new needs and opportunities.

Greater global connectivity will continue to reduce the time taken to transport information, people and products.  Competition will become more comprehensive, and the impact of shocks will be transmitted further and faster than ever before.  To prepare for this, you will need to continue to innovate and drive productivity to compete globally, and make sure that you can reduce the impact of global shocks.

In conclusion, ‘No Ordinary Disruption’  will help re-set your intuition on what the future will look like.  While predicting the future is always dangerous, the authors present a strong case that the trends in urbanisation, accelerating technological change, ageing demographics and greater connectivity will continue.

This book will help you explore these trends further, and help you prepare for their impact on the world and on your business.

Link to the McKinsey website

Amazon Link – No Ordinary Disruption

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