The world is getting warmer due to human pollution.
So what? Is this impacting your sales or costs today?
Approaching climate change like this will doom your business success. Climate change is the canary in the mine singing, “the Industrial Age is over.”
Think Sears, coal and telephone lines. Now consider Internet retail, solar and cellular mobility.
Millennials are now the most employed demographic in America. Which of these six business models align with millennial generation values?
Which ones have a declining cost curve?
Which ones will have less regulation because they have a smaller environmental footprint?
The question being raised by the Information Age is:
Will your business adopt a change culture that embraces four key technologies that solve climate change and win customers?
Four technologies driving 21st century business success
Think Uber, Airbnb or Amazon. These are disruptive business models. They are first generation examples of how technology is creating a new business model where success is achieved by reshaping lives around:
The four technologies driving this change are:
Artificial Intelligence (AI).
AI enabled machine learning sound futuristic. It is not. The first generation of AI tools like big data and predictive software are now being used to win customers, cut costs and reduce environmental impacts. Veyo is a classic example. Veyo is in the decidedly low tech, customer service business of non-emergency medical transportation. Yet, they are using big data and predictive software to grow revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Their business model uses these technologies to lower costs, improve on time performance and reduce emissions from more efficient vehicle deployment.
Imagine real time communications between machines that learn. 5G, launching in 2018, has gigabyte speeds and bandwidth compared to today’s 4G’s megabyte speeds. It will be the real time communications link between smart machines.
In states where the utilities and their commissions enable customer owned solar systems, a business can recoup the solar investment cost in about 5-6 years. Then the system basically generates “free” electricity, for decades! Competing against “free” is the Information Age’s competitive challenge for the fossil fuel industry.
Batteries are the breakthrough technology that will enable mass market adoption of renewable electricity. Battery prices have fallen 75%. They are projected to fall another 75%. When that day comes, batteries will be running your business and our homes.
Climate change is the door through which a business (and our country) must walk through to grow sales and our economy.
Think zero net energy (ZNE) buildings. http://www.earth2017.com/three-steps-zero-net-energy-commercial-buildings/ Right now investing in the enabling technologies looks expensive. A nice to have but not a business imperative.
ZNE buildings will become the norm as AI, 5G, renewable energy and batteries gain price competitiveness and increased performance. A ZNE building will be least coast. It will use AI to price arbitrage between the building’s solar generation, building efficiencies and purchases of least cost renewable energy from other buildings or the grid. A ZNE building’s connectivity will engage work associates and customers to enhance their productivity, health and satisfaction.
Think autonomous driving vehicles. Costs will be lower by lowering labor costs. But these vehicles will also cost less by running on renewable electricity. Today, it costs only 75 cents a gasoline gallon equivalent to recharge an electric car. Least cost solar and wind generated electricity will drive gasoline from the market place, just like how coal is losing market share today. The average American household is projected to save $5,600 annually using autonomous driving vehicles sold through a mobility as a service business model (MaaS).
The culture of change
Democratization of technology is the key culture trait for building a company that wins on price, convenience and values.
I can tell which companies get it, and which do not, by just walking into their offices. The ones that get it have their work associates organized to promote technology engagement, creativity and adoption. Those that do not still have work associates housed around an organizational chart.
Control is another telling organizational trait. Controlling technology engagement is as outdated as telephone switch board operators.
These three questions will define your business culture and business success in the Information Age:
- Is the business owner or CEO driving a technology change culture?
- Are work associates being directly engaged to innovate by the IT department?
- Does the company have cross functional teams seeking to implement technologies that will win customers with lower costs, increased convenience and healthier solutions for people and the planet?
How your business answers these three business culture question will drive your competitiveness in the Information Age.