By @SimonCocking review of Disruptive Technologies. Understand, evaluate, respond by Paul Armstrong  Available from Amazon here

Disruptive Technologies outlines the steps businesses can take to engage with emerging technologies today in order to serve the consumer of tomorrow. This book offers the knowledge and tools to engage confidently with emerging technologies for better business. This highly practical book offers organizations a distinct response to emerging technologies including Blockchain (Bitcoin), artificial intelligence, graphene and nanotechnology (among others) and other external factors (such as the sharing economy, mobile penetration, millennial workforce, ageing populations) that impact on their business, client service and product model.

Disruptive Technologies provides a clear roadmap to assess, respond to and problem-solve: what are the upcoming changes in technology, roughly when to respond, and what’s the best response? By using a quick-to-master evaluation and decision-making framework – structured around the key dimensions of Technology, Behaviour and Data (TBD).

Emerging technologies guru Paul Armstrong offers a clear guide to the key disruptive technologies and a toolbox of frameworks, checklists, and activities to evaluate their possibilities. Disruptive Technologies enables forecasting of potential scenarios, implementation of plans, alternative strategies and the ability to handle change more effectively within an organization. The essential tool for all professionals who need to get to grips with emerging technologies fast and strategically.

There are a lot of books aiming to analyse what the future holds for us, and the challenges and opportunities this can offer us. This book recognises the key problem that people don’t like change too, and the problems this brings. Chapter 1 offers a good overview of the emerging technologies to watch. All the usual suspects are there, including 3D printing, blockchain, bitcoin and AI, it is also good to see them explore the potential of nanotechnology and holography too. The later perhaps being one that has been less discussed recently. Would it work, how would it help? It might be a step up from scrapy skype calls for sure.

They discuss the value of open business too, and some principles that this might involve (p130) for example; share as much as possible, charge as little as possible, and don’t compensate employees directly. The final point is an interesting one, but has a logic which is effectively explained. Carrot and sticks are always blunt tools for employee performance, and the book also heralds the rise of the importance of emotional intelligence over traditional IQ.

The book is good in many ways, and worth reading, as it is insightful and thought provoking. One small reservation would be that the repetition of the acronym TBD was frequent enough to feel like you were being pitched an add-on consultancy service a little too hard.


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