Only rarely does a new business book appear that so perfectly matches the global moment. As we begin the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a slow-moving global catastrophe that was both predictable and almost entirely unexpected, companies and organizations are (or should be) looking out at an even more uncertain world and asking themselves, “What’s next?”
In Small Data, Big Disruptions, Martin Schwirn shows them how to anticipate and prepare for the future by finding “little oddities” in the daily avalanche of small data and connecting the dots between them in order to “identify emerging opportunities and foresee future threats.” The four-step foresighting process that Schwirn teaches here is called scanning. It is a well-established and proven method for gathering and analyzing information from an organization’s external environment (the author himself has conducted or directed scanning for more than two decades). But, to my knowledge, this is the first book that has laid out the scanning process in light of the challenges of the twenty-first century. More importantly, it is a clear, careful, and compelling guide to a very powerful tool for embracing uncertainty, understanding future issues, and arriving at the best possible strategic decisions. And Schwirn demonstrates convincingly that any organization can adopt the scanning discipline and get started today.
The book presents a number of impressive scanning success stories. It is also filled with valuable insights gleaned from the author’s long experience at scanning. Scanning requires small data from “credible and diverse sources.” Just as importantly, it requires team members who are themselves diverse and open-minded. He cautions to avoid the temptation of shiny objects. Scanning is not about finding “golden nuggets.” Single data points about self-driving flying cars or geoengineering may be exciting but they are far less useful than less sensational but still unusual data points that can be woven into more powerful patterns.
Small Data, Big Disruptions is, above anything else, a carefully drawn and easy to follow blueprint for a highly disciplined and valuable scanning process for your organization. In less than 200 pages it lays out clearly the whys and hows of scanning in order to navigate the future. If your organization is already doing scanning, this book will teach you how to do it better. If you are not yet doing scanning, it is probably time to get started.
Small Data, Big Disruptions: How to Spot Signals of Change and Manage Uncertainty Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
©2021 Martin Schwirn (P)2021 Gildan Media
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 2 minutes|
|Author||Martin Schwirn, Peder Inge Furseth - foreword|
|Audible.in Release Date||15 April 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank||
#44,506 in Audible Audiobooks & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Audiobooks & Originals)
#307 in Business Decision Making & Problem Solving
#363 in Forecasting & Strategic Planning
#511 in Marketing
5 out of 5
1 global rating