Since the start of the new century, the world has started to change - and radically. The collision of four global forces means we are now living in an era of near constant discontinuity. Competitors can burst upon the scene in a blink of an eye. Businesses that were protected by large and deep moats find that their defences are easily breached. Vast new markets are conjured seemingly from nothing. Five years is an eternity.
In a new book, No Ordinary Disruption, the three leaders of the McKinsey Global Institute, McKinsey's business and economics research arm, argue that the world is now roughly in the middle of a dramatic transition as a result of four fundamental disruptive trends: growth and urbanisation in emerging markets, technological disruption, increasing connectivity, and the ageing of populations. None of these disruptions, on its own, is a surprise. The unique challenge is that they are happening at the same time - and on a huge scale, creating second-, third-, and even fourth-order effects that are scarcely possible to anticipate. As they collide, they will produce change so significant that much of the management intuition that has served us in the past will become irrelevant, causing us to reset our collective intuition.