Is Any Industry Safe From disruption?


I recently dipped my toe into the Metals and Mining waters and walked away with the reinforcement that every industry is susceptible to disruption. There has long been a feeling that non-digital industries are safe from the power of disruption. In a recent piece on a New Economic Paradigm, this topic is explored in greater depth, questioning the long term viability of not just current industry structures – but the economic paradigm itself. 

Disruptive scenario analysis should be a critical focus for every business across every industry. In addition, as these scenarios converge, the implications of this convergence to a given industry or industries must be understood. The anchor visual below identifies a number of scenarios to consider. Let’s take a look at disruption in the context of the Metals and Mining industry, as well as some possible industry responses.

Disruptive Scenarios

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Exponential and Combinatorial


Futurist Gerd Leonhard continues to talk about exponential progression and its impact on the world. In this recent short video, Gerd uses the Exponential and Combinatorial slide that anchors the organization evolution story. Listen to Gerd’s perspective on this emerging paradigm shift.


Exponential Organizations


Starting in 2011, I focused on the notion of a digital enterprise – a metaphor for the type of organization that is required to survive the massive paradigm shift that lies ahead. In 2013, the focus expanded to analyze disruptive scenarios and the emerging ecosystems and platforms that would give life to those scenarios. There remains a single constant through this work and the many leadership discussions that ensued: it will take a different type of organization – different than the ones most of us grew up with – to survive the shift. We as humans – and the organizations that we created – think and act linearly. The world and technology however is moving exponentially. How then do people and organizations move from linear thinking to exponential thinking? Continue reading


The Disruptive Role of Near Field Communications


Over the last several years, the big four technologies of the third platform (Social, Mobile, Big Data, and Cloud) have received the lion share of attention, and an emerging class of innovation accelerators like The Internet of Things will capture attention in the coming years. But there are also a number of supporting technologies that serve as enabling components of multiple disruptive scenarios. In some recent presentation preparation work, I focused on technologies like Near Field Communications (NFC) and iBeacon. It was fascinating to find broad applicability across many of the disruptive scenarios on the visual I have used to describe the coming paradigm shift.

Disruptive Scenarios

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Anticipating 2025 – Part Four: Redesigning Society


Part four of Anticipating 2025 summarizes the fourth section of the book, focusing on redesigning society. Once again, we see how innovation, business, Government, and society converge over the next 20 years. There is an interesting historical pattern emerging that helps explain this phenomenon, while providing a mechanism to predict the future with a higher degree of certainty (more on that in a future post). As you read this, look at how innovation that we normally view through a business lens, is playing out at the societal level. Let’s take a look at each of the topics within this section. Continue reading


Anticipating 2025 – Part Three: Redesigning Artificial Intelligence


Part three of Anticipating 2025 will summarize the third section of the book. This section focused on redesigning artificial intelligence, with a look at six important questions and the exploration of human-machine mergers. The six questions explored in this section are:

  1. Can we create a human-level artificial intelligence?
  2. If so, when?
  3. Will human-level artificial intelligence lead to super-intelligence?
  4. If super-intelligence arrives, will we like it?
  5. Can we upload our minds to computers?
  6. Can we de-risk the arrival of super-intelligence?

Like the first two sections, this section forces us to look at disruption through a different lens. Granted, the path forward is highly speculative, and even the most optimistic scenarios are likely years away from having transformative implications. Nonetheless, it does force us to broaden our lens beyond traditional views. For example, I’ve focused on the automation of knowledge work and all its ramifications, while the authors (Calum Chace, Martin Dinov, and Elias Rut) focus on creating super-intelligence by uploading our minds to computers. They explore a human-machine merger that they see as the enabler of super-intelligence benefits realization. This merger in the author’s view is the only way to avoid creating our successor. So yeah, that’s a little more impactful than automating knowledge work.

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Anticipating 2025 – Part Two: The Future of Medicine


Part two of Anticipating 2025 will summarize the second section of the book. This section focused on three broad topics:

  1. Will advancing technology make doctors unemployed?
  2. The future of medicine and the convergence of nanotechnology and biology
  3. Rejuvenation Biotechnology program

It is fascinating to view this section through a disruptive and transformative lens. The acceleration of scientific advancement intensifies the degree and speed of change, thus positioning the type of paradigm shift that we have not seen since the steam engine. As this recent Forbes article points out, even The Acceleration is Accelerating.

The first topics author is Maneesh Juneja, Digital Health Futurist, and Founder of the Health 2.0 London Chapter. In the opening discussion, the author focuses on technology advancement and the future role of doctors. He describes a backward healthcare system that focuses on treatment versus prevention, and the difficulties of solving this problem when there is no profit in prevention. In researching systems from the past, the author looked at ancient China, where it is said that doctors only received payment while their patients stayed healthy. The author then explores the technologies projected to change the practice of medicine:

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