All great evolutionary leaps start well and deliver benefits. But then the wheels come off. Evolutionary adaptation goes too far, unintended and unforeseen negative consequences emerge. But these painful problems are what trigger the next evolutionary wave of adaptation. Currently, the vast majority of business is operating at HR 4.0 Profit, or below. This “P-wave” has delivered significant benefit for some while systematically sucking the life out of others, society, and the planet. C-suite leaders, including HR professionals, have had a hand in creating this reality.
Change is inevitable for a number of reasons. Technological disruption means that many established businesses are in a “race to the bottom” that no one will win. The old “barriers to entry,” painstakingly built by established business over decades, are fast disappearing. Profit margins in old business models are evaporating in the face of zero marginal cost. How does business make money if everyone expects everything for free or nearly free? And we are already hitting planetary limits across all areas of business, from extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal.
Business must evolve to become more inclusive, cooperative, and sustainable, overwise human extinction is a very real possibility.