The Future of Retail


The National Retail Federation (NRF) kicked off it’s annual event this week, and with it comes an opportunity to consider the future of retail and the type of changes we might expect. Colleagues at Tata Consultancy Services (Kevin Mulcahy, Bill Quinn, and April Harris) pulled together their thoughts ahead of the event. You can explore the future of Retail via this Article, and/or the short video below.

Ecosystem Models and Value Design


The road to future ecosystems is paved by stakeholder action in the coming decades. These ecosystems support life experiences and have no regard for industry boundaries. Over time, established peer-to-peer relationships lead to value creation and capture for all ecosystem participants. Along the way, value design gets complicated, as multi-stakeholder ecosystems introduce complexity. It is value design that I believe challenges traditional thinking, both in how we view relationships and how we share value. As traditional thinking gives way, the resulting ecosystems have the potential to move towards the collaborative commons described by Jeremy Rifkin.

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Transforming the Automotive Industry


A new McKinsey report focuses on the Disruptive trends that will transform the auto industry. Their work suggests that the world economies are dramatically changing via developments in emerging markets, the exponential pace of technology, sustainability policies, and changing consumer preferences around ownership. They see the rise of four disruptive trends in the automotive sector: diverse mobility, autonomous driving, electrification, and connectivity. For me, these findings underscore the movement from our current automotive industry to the future Mobility Ecosystem. If we can make the mental model shift from our long standing view of Industry and competition, to this emerging view of ecosystem and shared value, we can begin to visualize the different ways value will be created and captured in the future.

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A Report on Creative Disruption


A recent report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch sheds more light on our future focus. The authors see cyclical and secular trends transforming the world at a rapid and meaningful pace. They find a common denominator in the form of three Ecosystems of Creative Disruption, and see them reducing barriers to entry for new businesses. These ecosystems allow companies to improve productivity and time-to-market while allowing broader customer reach. In a big shift, the ecosystems redefine competitive advantage by leveling the playing field between large and small companies.  Success is therefore dictated by imagination and ability to maximize the ecosystem. The three ecosystems are:

The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is expected to be a $7 trillion industry by 2020, as the explosion in connected devices is laying the foundation for IoT disruption. As a result, the authors estimate that connected devices will double in the next three years to reach 20 billion by 2018.

M2M Applications

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World Economic Forum – Deep Shift


A must read on six mega-trends, their tipping points and societal impacts. I recommend this for anyone with interest in where the world is heading, and/or tasked with future thinking in the context of strategy. I commend the World Economic Forum for their efforts here, as education is likely to spur action. The six mega-trends are:

  1. People and the internet
  2. Computing, communications and storage everywhere
  3. The Internet of Things
  4. Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data
  5. The sharing economy and distributed trust
  6. The digitization of matter

Here is a tipping point timeline from the report:

Tipping Points Timeline

Many leaders are struggling with the sheer number of future scenarios and some indication of when the tipping point may arrive. This material provides critical input into the scenario and response analysis process. Enjoy the read.

Future Scenarios


In my recent post on the Future Business Landscape, I shared predictions pulled together by SAP. The sources for this type of information are multiplying, which for me signals the start of a growing focus on the future of business. With this post, I am launching a series that delves into what that future might look like, starting in a logical place with future scenarios. This visual representing a series of paradigm shifts has anchored my thinking for some time, and sits at the heart of this future.

 emerging-future

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Structural Change: Decentralization


I had the pleasure of joining The Digital World with Game Changers radio program for the second time this year. Joining me as panelists were Futurist Gray Scott and SAP Innovation Evangelist Timo Elliott. First, kudos to program host Bonnie D. Graham for doing a wonderful job keeping the discussion energized and interesting. The title of the session was Eating Disruption for Lunch: Digesting Decentralization. Now there’s a term not heard much outside of futurist circles. Decentralization is one of those structural changes that make what lies ahead so impactful. According to Wikipedia, decentralization is the process of redistributing or dispersing functions, powers, people, or things away from a central location or authority.

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Disruptive Power Lies at the Intersections


The content of this post was updated on February 16, 2017 in a new post titled Intersections Promise to Drive Multiple Paradigm Shifts


When I first started using the term “Combinatorial”, people thought I was making words up. Although I’d like to take credit for the word, I first came across it when reading The Second Machine Age, a fascinating book by Andrew McAfee and Eric Brynjolfsson. I remember thinking that it was a perfect word to capture the amplification of both innovation and its disruptive power. By now, readers of this Blog have seen the foundational Visual that describes the digital foundation, innovation accelerators, and disruptive scenarios. What the visual does not convey without the associated narrative is the power of combinatorial.

If we build on top of the visual, we begin to see the complexity at the intersections, the amplification of disruptive power, and the broad implications for the future.

intersections-and-amplification

The best way to describe this phenomenon is through examples, so let’s look at six combinatorial scenarios as an overlay. The visual is a bit overwhelming, so a better way to follow the various paths is via this PDF. Here is a description of each scenario. The numbers in the visual above map to the scenarios below, and the colors show the combinations: 

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Is Any Industry Safe From disruption?


I recently dipped my toe into the Metals and Mining waters and walked away with the reinforcement that every industry is susceptible to disruption. There has long been a feeling that non-digital industries are safe from the power of disruption. In a recent piece on a New Economic Paradigm, this topic is explored in greater depth, questioning the long term viability of not just current industry structures – but the economic paradigm itself. 

Disruptive scenario analysis should be a critical focus for every business across every industry. In addition, as these scenarios converge, the implications of this convergence to a given industry or industries must be understood. The anchor visual below identifies a number of scenarios to consider. Let’s take a look at disruption in the context of the Metals and Mining industry, as well as some possible industry responses.

emerging-future

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The Disruptive Role of Near Field Communications


Over the last several years, the big four technologies of the third platform (Social, Mobile, Big Data, and Cloud) have received the lion share of attention, and an emerging class of innovation accelerators like The Internet of Things will capture attention in the coming years. But there are also a number of supporting technologies that serve as enabling components of multiple disruptive scenarios. In some recent presentation preparation work, I focused on technologies like Near Field Communications (NFC) and iBeacon. It was fascinating to find broad applicability across many of the disruptive scenarios on the visual I have used to describe the coming paradigm shift.

emerging-future

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The Sharing Economy


Something Economy: seems like a popular trend – stick a word in front of economy and use it to describe the next big thing. Some of these words are: Peer, Maker, Sharing, Gig, Collaborative, Green, Circular, Mesh, Digital, Innovation, semantic, and more. This combining of words speaks to the truly disruptive nature of the early 21st century. As part of my focus on business evolution and the inevitable move towards digital enterprises, I have analyzed a number of disruptive scenarios and their implications to traditional companies. This visual describes a combinatorial innovation dynamic that spawns disruptive scenarios:

emerging-future
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