Disruptive technologies: How far should they go?

Too little and you fall behind, too much and you could ruin the company. So, how far is too far?

"If you have a committee, you are far less likely to get agreement that you should do something really different," he said. "You need someone to bullishly push things through. They may get it wrong but that's why everyone else worries about it."

Those are the issues that large organisations have, he added. "There are committees and boards with people don't want things to change in a very fundamental way."

He said that smaller companies have an easier time when pushing through disruptive ideas as they don't have such constraints. He believes they can do one thing today and do another tomorrow and they think it's fine to do so as there are only a few people affected by that decision.

An absurd idea may seem at first ruinous, but it could be the one that propels an organisation far further than dreamt possible.

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Dr Carsten Srensen, reader in Digital Innovation at the London School of Economics, added that we are still at the very beginning of the digital revolution.

Like at the beginning of the industrial revolution, he added we are all still "just tinkering around with steam engines, we have no idea what is going to come and we are just going to have to get ready for it."

While technology is changing rapidly (and indeed keeps changing over the decades), the politics stays the same and the way people interact with each other, despite technological changes, has remained relatively constant.

"There are some things that are stable, it is good we have this politics to keep us grounded," Srensen added. 

But Greenfield said that while you can argue that people are still the same, technology is changing the way we interact with each other.

"For the first ever we don't have face-to-face communication and this changes how much we relate to other people and the empathy you have with them and how you see yourself and hence your identity," she said.

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