Summary of The Reciprocity Advantage

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The Reciprocity Advantage book summary

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The Institute for the Future (IFTF) in Silicon Valley makes medium-term predictions – about 10 years into the future. Since it opened in 1968, some 60% to 80% of its forecasts have been accurate, so readers will find worthwhile indicators in this publication. While the predictions for the years leading up to 2025 will almost certainly alarm and unsettle you, they might also energize you to prepare now for what could emerge as one of the most disruptive 10 years in business history. From the implications of a generation of now-teenaged digital natives to the impact of “cloud-served supercomputing” and 3-D printers, futurists Bob Johansen and Karl Ronn weave a convincing narrative. They back up their arguments with informative charts and graphs – calling for more collaboration, more trust, more giving and more thinking about what you really offer as a person or an organization. Though their report focuses mainly on big, billion-dollar businesses, and not so much on individuals and smaller businesses, getAbstract suggests it to everyone who wants to prepare for the future.

About the Authors

Bob Johansen studies the future at the Institute for the Future in California. He and Karl Ronn help organizations and senior executives prepare and create breakthrough innovations.


The “Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous” (VUCA) World

Businesspeople now face an increasingly polarized world with more and greater rifts, such as those between haves and have-nots or the educated and the illiterate, as well as many other fault lines. The VUCA world will present you with scary challenges, but also with more choices and opportunities, especially if you act now.

Prepare by countering polarization and volatility with a well-conceived mission and vision. Combat uncertainty with a broader, deeper understanding of your business. Address complexity with clarity, and meet ambiguity with agility so that you think through and can state clearly where you intend to go – while remaining highly adaptable in how you get there. Cloud computing and mass connectivity will accelerate your options, energize competition and shrink margins. Traditional business models focusing on buyers and sellers will recede. New models will grow, centering on partnerships, collaboration and “reciprocity.”

Identifying Your Advantages

Define your strengths, or “rights-of-way,” by first grasping the phrase’s literal meaning. For example, trains originally had rights...

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