What future is emerging today?

“The future is already here – it’s just unevenly distributed.” – William Gibson

It’s hard to imagine the future.  Yet, if we could, our strategic advantage would be enormous, setting us up to reach and exceed our dreams.

In 1992 it would have been difficult to imagine the Internet as a pervasive resource and business tool. Consider your response if someone had said to you, “You will have access to the sum total of human knowledge, at your fingertips, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  You will be able to teach yourself accounting, how to repair a computer, or the history of space exploration at 3am on New Year’s eve if you’re motivated… and so will everyone else.”

Those who understood what was coming positioned themselves to win big:

  • Yahoo! – First to make it really easy to find sites on the web
  • Cisco – Provider of the cables & computers that built the web
  • University of Phoenix Online – Helping people earn degrees over the web

What radical innovation is today emerging that can be used for strategic advantage?


3 Responses to “What future is emerging today?”

  1. The emerging future is a RECOMBINANT FUTURE. Ongoing radical innovation doesn’t require wholly new technologies (although these will inevitably arise). Rather, by merging and rearranging ancient understandings (such as the power of stories), cutting edge scientific findings (such as brain research and theories of cognition), and the latest information technologies (such as advanced search and social media), practitioners of all kinds will create new environments that are in themselves innovative and in turn foster innovation. This recombinant future will result in a climate of meta-innovation, which bodes well for future worldwide leaps in such key arenas as literacy, job creation, and delivery of basic services to the needy.

    The opportunities for such recombination are increasing exponentially. The cost of entry into so many fields has plummeted with the cost of computing power. And more people are now in contact with like-minded people from all over the world. The downside of this is that potentially negative innovators, in all sectors, have and will continue to harness this sort of creativity for their own purposes. Lobbyists of all stripes and even terrorists have taken the lessons of Peter Drucker and Tom Peters and invested in innovation, with spectacular results, adapting their strategy to circumstances and restructuring their organizations to answer resistance from opponents. For good or bad, this is creative recombination in action.

    Another form of recombination will occur when various innovations that work in the lab (say, energy from algae) can be scaled up enough to be economically viable. Such advancements are likely to occur through interdisciplinary thinking and experimentation, whereby principles from one field of study or practice are applied to or cleverly merged with another. The greatest innovations will result from being alert to the way new capacities might be used to rearrange the tried and true, for the benefit of many (assuming the resulting innovation bears no resemblance to the beast-men of Dr. Moreau.)

  2. Excellent post, Randal. Thank you.

    • Am new here, obsuvioly ~ thanks so much ~ have your badge on my blog (A Creative Harbor) and do hope you will stop by ~ Thanks for hosting this event ~ ^_^ namaste, Carol

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