3 minute read 31 Mar 2018
Woman armchair digital tablet

How the Transformative Age is changing how we live, work and play

By

Norman Lonergan

EY Global Vice Chair – Advisory

Serving clients across multiple sectors through our vast range of offerings, from cybersecurity to risk transformation. Rugby enthusiast.

3 minute read 31 Mar 2018
Related topics Disruption AI Technology Advisory

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Disruption has become a buzzword. But the truth of what we're experiencing is transformation — not disruption.

Disruption is in retail, health care, government, transportation, you name it. It’s hard to have a dialog in business today without someone trying to pin any strategy on disruption. And like any business term that is overused, it becomes a catchall for everything until it ends up meaning nothing. Blue sky thinking? Thriving on chaos? Core competency? We’ve heard them all at one time or another.

Disruption, similarly, has become a buzzword used to force us into action because of its suggestion of an uncertain future. In reality, there is something much larger afoot. We are not simply seeing businesses shift or adjust their strategies. We are seeing fundamental changes in business models and their respective industries. This is not disruption.

This is transformation.

When your competitors can be born from a hackathon; when 140 characters can stop the world in its tracks and scramble a news cycle; when global aid for a localized community can happen within minutes, there is something larger and more powerful at play.

Welcome to the Transformative Age

We are living in the Transformative Age. Much like the Industrial Revolution, we can expect a fundamental shift in everything we know — not only in the speed at which all these changes are taking place, but also in our increasing reliance on connectivity. This is the signature difference of the Transformative Age: being connected, whether it’s to data, interfaces, people or experiences.

Technology may be providing the fuel for this revolution but it is about so much more than that. Perhaps, ultimately, it will be the human element of transformation — our skills, our hopes and our passions — that determines where we will be and what we will achieve.

Rising out of the ashes of disruption is a vast ecosystem of ingenuity, experience and diverse perspectives. And in this ecosystem are people who have realized that keeping the human element at the core of any business or digital transformation is the key to success.

From today, we should perhaps reserve the word “disruption” for more appropriate situations, such as a downed internet or a flight delay.

But when travel and hospitality industries can be brought to their knees (overnight) by an app, we shouldn’t be thinking disruption, instead we should be saying: Welcome to the Transformative Age.

What does it take to succeed in the Transformative Age?

Like the Information Age before it, and the Industrial Age before that, the Transformative Age is changing how we live, work and play: the gig economy, artificial intelligences, smart cities, new millennial mindsets, self-driving vehicles, clean energy sources and more.

Navigating the Transformative Age demands we all ask better questions.

How can you help your people keep pace with the pace of change?

What’s the smart way to apply the technology ecosystem at your fingertips?

Are you looking at digital from every angle?

We believe better questions come from better connections. The more we all connect, the better able we are to meet the complex challenges of our times and forge new paths to growth.

We are living in an era that combines unprecedented change with limitless opportunity. As all around you transforms, make sure you have the connections to help you collaborate, innovate and succeed.

Summary

We are living in the Transformative Age: beyond mere disruption, it's about being connected, whether it’s to data, interfaces, people or experiences.

About this article

By

Norman Lonergan

EY Global Vice Chair – Advisory

Serving clients across multiple sectors through our vast range of offerings, from cybersecurity to risk transformation. Rugby enthusiast.

Related topics Disruption AI Technology Advisory