One of the most important skills for executives today is developing an understanding of the impact of technology on consumer behavior in real time. Rapid, undetected shifts in consumer behavior create organizational blind spots, which can cause organizations to miss inflection points and lose market share. Here are four books that highlight technological and consumer trends critical to understand for business success in 2017.
Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail
Author Salim Ismail makes an effective argument with many illustrations that we are in a period of rapid and unrelenting technological change. The book is excellent reading for any executives who want to get an understanding of the changes underway and how they can apply them to their organizations. The author explains that an "Exponential Organization is one whose impact (or output) is disproportionally large -- at least 10x larger -- compared to its peers because of the use of new organizational techniques that leverage accelerating technologies."
The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum
Innovation and changes in production and wealth creation over the past two hundred years came from harnessing the use of steam, water power, electricity and assembly lines. The fourth industrial revolution will utilize the digitization of information, the Internet of Things and the interconnection of systems. Smart consumers will feed data into smart factories in which machines can process information into the entire production chain and make recommendations on its own. The Fourth Industrial Revolution illustrates how the mash-up of advances in technology is different from other revolutions. This revolution connects billions more people to the web which improves the efficiency of organization while at the same time creating unwanted consequences.
Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerationsby Thomas L. Friedman
Thomas Friedman makes the argument that we are in a period of rapid change and countries, companies and workers/individuals need to be constantly learning. We need to be fast to innovate and to adapt to be successful. He provides a context of how to think and to adapt in a period of acceleration.
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
This book examines the rise of machine intelligence. How will artificial intelligence help humans and could it get beyond our control? Think HAL from 2001.
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