The dramatic fall of Blackberry and the stunning rise of What’sApp; the almost overnight emergence of “Single’s Day” (Nov. 11), a contrived holiday in China, as the biggest online shopping day in the world, and the similarly from-out-of-nowhere rise of the U.S. as the world’s newest petro-power: Are there common threads running through these big, important, stories?
Yes. Ours is an era of near constant discontinuity. Today and even more so in the years ahead, speed, surprise, and sudden shifts in direction in huge global markets will routinely shape the destinies of established companies and provide opportunities for new entrants. Business models can be up-ended in months. Competitors can rise in almost complete stealth and burst upon the scene. Businesses that were protected by large and deep moats now find their defenses are easily breached. New markets are conjured seemingly from nothing. Technology and globalization have put the natural forces of market competition on steroids.
This isn’t just how the world now feels; it’s also what the data tell us. Chart the plot points on most long-term trends and they no longer look like smooth upward slopes; they look like sawtooth mountain ridges, or like hockey sticks, breaking up sharply and to the right, or like the silhouette of Mt. Fuji, rising steadily only to start falling off. We live, increasingly, in an age of trend breaks.
In No Ordinary Disruption, the directors of the McKinsey Global Institute, the flagship think tank of the world’s leading consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, dive deeply behind current headlines to analyze the key forces transforming the global economy over the next two decades—and most importantly, to explain what business and government leaders need to do to reset their intuitions and take advantage of the disruptions ahead. Free of jargon and gimmicks, filled with anecdotes, data, and graphics, informed by deep experience, No Ordinary Disruption is aimed at a broad audience of middle and senior level managers, investors, and policy makers.