Exponential change is our new reality. The pace, scale, reach, and the potential impacts of the underlying drivers of change are extraordinary and represent both challenge and opportunity to individuals, public sector organisations, not-for-profit, and commercial enterprises alike. The primary exponential change focus of many organisations is increasingly on the development and potential impact of new automation technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to create increasingly efficient processes and enable greater customer personalisation.
But in life, society, and business we need to be alert to
all the signals, predictions, and scenarios of how the emerging future could
change the nature of our world. In response, we need to be thinking about how
we will design future business products, services, and processes. In
government, we need to be thinking about how we will design and deliver future
public services. Collectively we must try to imagine the impact of new ideas,
technologies, and approaches in existing sectors and how they help us create
new sectors that will power the future economy.
Context for Change
Our world is becoming increasingly complex, globalisation is
evolving and increasing uncertainty is a new reality. The increasing desire of
people around the world to shape their own futures is driving change at the
political, economic, and social levels. New technologies and a growing middle
class – especially in Asia - are typically critical drivers. The broadening of
sustainability is becoming a license to operate. Sustainability is no longer
just the domain of concerns about the environment, climate change, and
bio-diversity; it’s also about economics, equality, infrastructure renewal, and
social improvement. New consumers are emerging; not just millennials and Gen-Z
but also boomers who are increasingly adopting new perspectives on what and how
they engage with brands, products, and services. Technology offers business and
society more broadly amazing benefits including the ability to change our
traditional scarcity mind-set to an abundance mind-set by embracing
“Trekonomics” – Star Trek’s economic utopia. We are experiencing two worlds
colliding; the analogue, physical world where we focus on created physical
products and services, with the digital world where data and information are
the valuable currency and where data is opening up a new world of possibility.
Opening a Door to a Very Human Future
Taken altogether, these drivers of future change represent
both challenge and opportunity and the key question becomes, are we ready to
open a door to a very human future?
The answers do not lie in technology – enabling though it
could prove to be – but they lie in our mind-set, our leadership behaviours,
and the actions we take as individuals, as enterprises, and as governments.
Image Credit: Arek Socha via