Innovation, disruption and the 4th industrial revolution

The fourth industrial revolution, innovation and disruption are prominent themes describing the exponential and disruptive transformations we are experiencing. Together with the sustainability consensus and agenda (crystallised in the concept of ‘just transition‘) these set the ‘contours’ of the strategic and competitive landscape that firms need to navigate and negotiate. Our firms and we need to grapple with:

1) the emergent and exponential nature of the fourth industrial revolution and how it takes shape within the geo-political patterns of the previous industrial revolutions as well as the existing ecosystems (see page on human capital value chain and ecosystem)

2) innovation as a multidimensional concept and understand the various levels of ecosystems within which it incubates and evolves

3) disruption, the  applicability and generalizability of Clayton Christensen‘s theory of sustaining and disruptive innovation, and how we think through modularity and integration

4) sustainability consensus within multi-lateral forums and bodies and the agenda for a ‘just transition’ for digital, green, and crisis-led transformations.

Our firms and we need a way to ‘read’ the strategic and competitive landscape. Frameworks can help to navigate this landscape and the above themes, and help us chart ways to shape and manage these emergent and disruptive realities. Below are examples of potential frameworks, which our founder has published in the fact sheets of the South Board for People Practices (HR professional body).


Predominant approaches to technologies and 4IR (tech fusion and utopianism; tech diffusion and realism; and tech as social artefact) and attendant policy and HR strategic choices
Predominant approaches to strategy, value and innovation, and attendant dilemmas and decisions on the six capitals (financial, intellectual, social. human, and relationship capitals)
Digital, green and crisis-led transformations in relation to the sustainability consensus and just transition agenda

Reach out to us for more information on the above frameworks and ways we can help you navigate the innovation, disruption and 4IR.