- Urbanisation and how that will drive a growth of middle class in places where that class didn't before exist, bringing with it a growth in discretionary income. Just look towards China and India's exponential growth as an example.
- Accelerating technological change and how that speed of change is overturning today's status quo of business. (To hear more about this, check out Episode 2 with the book The Second Machine Age)
- Aging population and demographic shifts that may possibly lead to a shortage of workforce in the current economic powerhouses such as Europe and the US.
- Global flows and how much more of the world's economy will come from places that we currently don't consider economically significant, which is a trend that is largely driven by the accessibility of technology and digital information.
Continuing on the theme of disruption in today's business, the book No Ordinary Disruption from the McKinsey consulting firm outlines four broad trends that are going to change the world over the coming decades:
In Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee's The Second Machine Age, we read about the way technology will change our lives in significant ways over the coming decades. It is no question that our lives have changed throughout history with the inventions such as electricity and motorised vehicles, but consider also how the rate of change has accelerated after the Industrial Revolution and the efficiencies that it brought in today's society.
Brynjolfsson's book introduces us to Moore's Law and how our ability to cram more and more into the same space is increasing exponentially. We see this in everything tech, from memory space to processing power but also brings to light and what that means for business and how business is conducted, for example think of automation and artificial intelligence.
The biggest force in disruption today is our ability to digitise things, where the marginal cost of production effectively becomes zero. Which then leads us to question 'if things cost nothing to make, how much are they worth?' and more importantly, what does this mean for our regulators of society?
I think the most important takeaway from The Second Machine Age is not only to look forward to the upcoming changes and disruptions, but to fully understand these trends and how they affect your business and then to face them with an agile business mindset of willingness to learn, experiment and adapt.
On the first episode of the Strategic Bookshelf, we'll go through ideas on strategy from the lense of three different books, namely Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin, The Strategist: Be the Leader Your Business Needs by Cynthia Montgomery and Your Strategy Needs a Strategy: How to Choose and Execute the Right Approach by Martin Reeves et.al.
About the Bookshelf
Sharing ideas about our changing world, how we do business today and the key role of strategy for in today's turbulent business environment.