7 Disruptive Innovations That Will Change The World

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05-01-2018

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In our recent book Reinvention, we introduce the concept of global shockwaves. We identify 20 global shockwaves (The Global Shockwave 20™) over the last 35 years that have helped create the turbulent, global, and disruptive business environment we operate in. Shockwaves are like rogue waves that catch you off guard at the beach and create total chaos as you tumble from its effects.

In a Huffington Post article by James Canton, he identified seven cutting edge innovations that he believes will change the world. We agree these are potentially huge shockwaves that seem to be already locked and loaded and heading for our beachfronts.

As you glance through the list of seven, ponder on the effects these might have on your own career and organisation that you lead:

  1. Crispr: Crispr is a gene-editing technology that allows for the changing out, editing in, and altering of genes. It will end certain diseases, feed the planet, alter healthcare and human evolution, and even eliminate birth defects if commercialised.
  2. SynBio: If engineering and biology got married, they would be called SynBio (short for synthetic biology). It is the construction of new biological parts, devices, systems, and the re-design of existing biological systems.
  3. Blockchain: Blockchain is the technology behind Bit Coin, the leading crypto-currency that might be the future of money. Blockchain could help in managing digital currencies and even larger economic planetary ecosystems.
  4. IoT: When “things” wake up and become smart – aware of each other with the ability to communicate – we will have a different world. We may have 20 billion connected things by 2020. Smart things can monitor, sense, protect, transact, communicate, and share information that could enhance the quality of our lives (like smart cities).
  5. Open AI: Artificial intelligence (AI) is so powerful in its potential that Elon Musk (chief executive officer and chief technology officer of Tesla Motors) has mused on its good, bad, and ugly possibilities. Companies such as Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and Google have invested approximately USD10bil on its research and development.
  6. Big Data Analytics: The data tsunami of video, social media, text, pictures, and geospatial information is threatening to overwhelm humans, let alone machines. Big data science might transform every industry as the rise of the “predictive organisation” becomes reality.
  7. Planet GeoEngineering: This science will address rising ocean levels, droughts, pollution increases and abrupt climate change. Planet GeoEngineering could be more vital to the future of humanity than any other innovation.

In the 21st century it will not be good enough to simply survive incoming global shockwaves. The best leaders and organisations will be those who are continually scanning the environment for potential disruptions. They will be capable of leveraging the energy from these disruptions and design their organisations accordingly. And they will build capabilities to actually accelerate results and leapfrog the competition.

These competencies will become highly sought after among global leaders and organisations of all shapes and sizes. Notice that all are intangible. It will be intangible competencies that will create healthy and sustainable economic moats around organisations in the future.

Very few organisations currently have the capability to do this. But the ability to simply “survive” massive disruption will soon be table stakes. It will merely be the cost of conducting business.

Leaders that learn how to leverage disruption to their benefit – and accelerate important scorecard results and sustainable competitive advantages – will be the market champions in the age of disruption.

Together, Kate and Shane founded SweetmanCragun, a global professional services firm focused on discovering new knowledge and delivering it in new ways to make a real impact on the world. This article was first published in SweetmanCragun’s ‘Dancing with Disruption’ newsletter (August 2016 edition). To learn more about Leaderonomics’ range of leadership training modules and business simulations, email us at training@leaderonomics.com. For more Thought Of The Week articles, click here.

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Reposted with permission on Leaderonomics.com.

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