What in the world is the next disruptive force?
Business leaders in every industry have a powerful interest in figuring out what the next big disruptive change will be. Will society move to e-books? Will voiceover IP dominate the telecommunications industry? Will CD collections be discarded in favor of digital?
Those are important issues, but they pale next to the real change that is coming. The clues to this change are literally all around us — in the air, under our feet and in our water. The single most important issue of our generation is not only threatening how we do business today, it is threatening our society, economy and health.
This looming issue is the environment.
Once a concern only for hippies and extremists, the environment has become a pressing issue for everyone living in our world today. In “Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value and Build Competitive Advantage,” authors Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston write: “In today’s world, no company, big or small, operating locally or globally, in manufacturing or services can afford to ignore environmental issues.”
Some may argue about the causes of climate change and the role that humans play. But from a business perspective, there is no question that the environment is fast becoming a driving force behind public, governmental and economic activities around the world.
In short, the environment is the new musket.