Showers over Windermere from Holbeck Lane near Troutbeck.

Winning in The Fourth Revolution (Part I)

April 29, 2019

In response to a few requests I’m going to outline the skills and competences I believe companies, big or small, should be focusing on to make sure they survive, and indeed thrive in The Fourth Industrial Revolution.

First some context.  For many years I have been convinced that we live in a VUCA World.  A world that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.  A world where Purpose and Executional Excellence have replaced strategy as the killer apps.  A world where Leadership is at a premium.

2019–20 sees VUCA 2.0.  Yes the world will remain Volatile, Uncertain, Complex (Brexit is the posterchild for VUCA) but ambiguous is being replaced by Accelerating.

VUCA on steroids.  Why?

  • Politically we are seeing the end of the American Age, the rise and rise of China, confusion in the Euro block, a more and more emboldened Russia, a navel gazing West, continued tensions in the Middle East and the rising tide of nationalism, extremism, autocracy and polarisation.
  • Socially, cyber-terrorism and cyber-criminals rule. Society is becoming increasingly concerned about privacy and stress caused by the weapons of mass distraction and jobs are disappearing because of advanced technology.
  • Economically we are facing accelerating disruption from FANG (Facebook, Amazon/Apple, Netflix, Google), vast new venture capital funding with a winner takes most world.
  • Technology-wise we are seeing scientific acceleration driving change faster than many individuals and institutes can handle.

Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution …:

The First      –  water/steam mechanised production,

The Second  –  electric power creates mass production,

The Third     –  digital automates at speed,

The Fourth   –  technologies fuse and blur the lines between physical and digital.

How do we survive and thrive?

More next week.



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