McKinsey's new book No Ordinary Disruptions covers 4 global forces they believe are rewriting the world economy's operating system.
The 4 are:
- The Age of Urbanization
- Accelerating Technological Change
- Responding to the Challenges of an Aging World
- Greater Global Connections
What's interesting about this list is these trends have been apparent and discussed for many years.
For example, all of these in one form or another are in the Intuit 2020 report, which was released in early 2010. They weren't new then.
Even the authors themselves point out these are not new trends. In their book excerpt The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends they say:
These four disruptions gathered pace, grew in scale, and started collectively to have a material impact on the world economy around the turn of the 21st century. Today, they are disrupting long-established patterns in virtually every market and every sector of the world economy—indeed, in every aspect of our lives.
So why bother writing a book about old news?
The reason is despite all of these forces being well known, most organizations, institutions and people still haven't adjusted to this new world. Key quote from the book excerpt:
There is an urgent imperative to adjust to these new realities. Yet, for all the ingenuity, inventiveness, and imagination of the human race, we tend to be slow to adapt to change. There is a powerful human tendency to want the future to look much like the recent past. On these shoals, huge corporate vessels have repeatedly foundered. Revisiting our assumptions about the world we live in—and doing nothing—will leave many of us highly vulnerable. Gaining a clear-eyed perspective on how to negotiate the changing landscape will help us prepare to succeed.
This is the way it is with shifts, forces and trends - they take a long time to reach the mainstream and even a longer time before most organizations adapt to them.
Which why a book explaining these shifts and how to navigate the world's new operating system is useful. I look forward to reading it.