3 Reasons Everything in Business is About to Change

Business technologies today

There are three important patterns happening in the world that will ultimately change business in fundamental ways: where it is done, how it is done, and who does it.  An article from McKinsey Quarterly, Management Intuition for the Next 50 Years, documents these patterns in detail.  The patterns are: the aging of the baby boomer population, the inevitable climb of emerging markets, and the continuing technological changes that disrupt industries.

To give an idea of how big and how fast things are changing we can highlight just a couple of the graphs from this article. First, the estimated amount of computing capacity added in the world  in 2008 was 5 exaflops (more information on the concept of exacomputing here).  By 2012, there were 20 more, and this year it is projected that the number of exaflops will reach about 40.

{Image sourced from McKinsey Article}

The graph illustrates the sheer mass of data and computing capacity that we are heading toward.  Naturally, our ability to digest, manage, and use that information will also need to increase. According to the McKinsey article, new business management intuition must acknowledge that new businesses will start up and gain scale faster and with less money. Additionally, decision-making will need to happen at lightning speed for companies to stay competitive.

Another graph from this article illustrates the population decline that is happening worldwide.  The inevitable implication is that the world will need a major increase in productivity because the workforce will be smaller and more constrained.

{Image sourced from McKinsey Article}

What it comes down to is this: the business leaders who come out on top of this change will be those who recognize it is happening and have the strength to adapt to meet the coming changes. Change is often hard, especially for people or companies or leaders whose intuitions are well-engrained and who have, up to this point, had success.

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