The Future Has Arrived

The world is changing like never before as lives are disrupted by technology in all its forms. But new patterns and new ways of doing things are emerging and we must embrace them.

Business rules

Businesses are playing a greater role in society as technology companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use our personal and professional information to profit. Digital age business leaders create endless opportunities to reshape the world while keeping control of the means to make it work.

Government, banks and other traditional institutions are less trusted than in the past as entrepreneurs are pushed centre stage to provide heroes for those who struggle. But many businesses don’t understand how fragmented the market will become, as micro-markets of consumers demand different things.

Even those working in stable parts of the economy worry about job security and develop new skills in a world where the standard of living for many is falling. Younger workers with digital age jobs are concerned about earning enough money to afford homes and raise families, a reasonable expectation for previous generations.

Entrepreneurship and self-employment are increasing too as employees take charge by taking responsibility for creating their own job. The number of people forced into entrepreneurship is also rising, as starting a business is seen as a way to manage an uncertain future.

A new world

Businesses in the digital age are playing a greater role in shaping society albeit skills shortages are deepening and restricting growth in some areas. The sharing economy is expanding too as technology creates platforms that enable Uber to disrupt the taxi industry and Airbnb the hotel sector, with the associated affect on jobs.

In the meantime, the internet enables rapid and fundamental change as it allows new ideas to destroy incumbents who scramble to make sense of what is happening. In response, last century businesses leaders are frantically reacting to the demands of new mobile customers by forming alliances in an effort to avoid extinction.

For businesses and people, the ability to focus is fast becoming the currency of the 21st century as media and social media compete for our attention. The intensity of the fight is making us less attentive, as distraction becomes the norm and rewires the brain towards endless short-term, multi-task living.

Our ability to concentrate only in short bursts is further exacerbated by technology specifically designed to grab our gaze in a way that is addictive. Distractions in the workplace are increasing too as employers create shared space and new environments, with little thought of how people function.

So, the future has arrived and technology is upending how we live but the only option is to embrace it and shape a world that’s right for us.