Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion and René Descartes are just some of the notable protagonists in Sean Pillot de Chenecey’s exploration of how various disruptors are transforming global business.
The author – a marketing expert specialising in brand consultancy and ethnography – urges business to adopt radical new strategies to address two big issues in particular: the climate crisis and the impact of tech such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things.
Influencers and Revolutionaries stresses the importance of a “positive mindset and progressive attitude” in dealing with these challenges. It argues that directors who adopt more sustainable, ethical, personal and inclusive leadership styles will thrive at the expense of those who fail to demonstrate such behaviour.
Silo, a café in east London that has used the ideas of the circular economy to ensure that nothing goes to waste, is a case in point. Its owner now proudly states that its kitchen no longer needs a rubbish bin.
The technological revolution, meanwhile, is driving the personalisation of products and services. Entertainment companies such as Netflix are exploring the use of “emotional AI” – an innovation that will enable viewing recommendations to be tailored to the mood of individual users. Pillot de Chenecey predicts that this development will in turn make consumers ever more demanding.
He analyses the effects that such trends are having on a number of industries, using insights from entrepreneurs, economists and philosophers to explore the potential outcomes. At present, he argues, too many businesses “aren’t adapting quickly enough in order to innovate and generate growth”.
Practical guidance for directors comes in the form of an “innovation manifesto” that highlights the importance of ethical and sustainable leadership. Indeed, one of the key messages of this book is that leaders must act as a “positive force” and, “in a paradigm shift, ensure that ‘good business is good business’”.
Influencers and Revolutionaries is published by Kogan Page.