Disruptive Technologies: Ready, Set, GO!

Darwin’s Advice on ADAPTABILITY has never been more Relevant to Business Success and Survival.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
It is not the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

GO Productivity has been heavily involved in gathering insights about the level of interest, awareness, preparedness and actions being undertaken by Alberta businesses to adapt and adopt these new technological tools.

We have organized and facilitated regional workshop throughout Alberta on a range of Emerging Technologies in conjunction with the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council with the sponsorship of the governments of Alberta and Canada.  Our report on findings and recommendations will be out shortly.

As part of our on-going interest beyond the workshops, GO held a workshop at the Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA) 2018 Best Practices Conference.  In preparation and in collaboration with COAA, GO Productivity was able to reach out to early conference registrants with the same survey we used in the Regional Workshop efforts.  We were delighted with the level of participation with 117 responses.  This blog is a synopsis of the COAA survey findings.


Construction and Oil & Gas sectors made up (80%) of survey participants.  The disruptive technologies that were the most concerning to business were Clean Tech and Renewable Energy (30%) followed by Big Data/Analytics (21%) and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (14%).  The Automation/Robots and Internet of Things elements were relatively lower as a concern for a combined total of (16%).  I would have thought automation, robotics and sensor technology would have been a much larger concern.

As for a sense of emerging or immediate urgency again Clean Tech and Renewables scored highest (38%).  Second place was Big Data/Analytics (22%) and Automation/robots in 3rd place (9%).  The least immediate impact was 3D Printing at less than (2%).  My sense is 3D Printing is going to be an enormous and timely disruptor for construction and oil and gas sectors.


When asked what actions are being taken to respond to disruptive technologies about (34%) were actively engaged or in the planning stage to adapt and adopt their business operations and processes.  However about (36%) said these emerging and exponential changes were either “not on their radar” or they were aware but had not given any considerations to the impacts of the implications on their businesses.  The rest were concerned or considering but had not done anything of significance to deal with the new realities they are about to face.

Those businesses who are engaged and taking action, (55%) were into the Assessment stage of relevant disruptive technology, including (27%) who were studying the ROI potential.  More encouraging were those who said they were reviewing their operational processes (48%) and the impacts on their Continuous Improvement plans (43%).


The GO Productivity workshop phase also explored the skills and staffing impact perceptions of Disruptive Technologies.  We did the same in the COAA survey.  Here we found a wider range of concerns.  The change management implications of getting staff to accept new technologies on operations a processes concerned (45%).  Finding competent and trained staff or retraining current staff was a combined concern for (77%).  Associated with this was the need to create a continuous learning culture was top of mind for (36%). There were (30%) were concerned about developing skills in collaboration and critical thinking within staff.

Concerns over compensation models, staff reductions and replacement issues were (8%) and (16%) respectively.

When asked who should be taking the strategic responsibility, (respondents were able to choose multiple answers) they voted (62%) for the businesses themselves followed by Business and Trade Associations at (50%). Post-Secondary institutions and the Technology Providers were each at (47%). Governments and Unions were not seen as significant players in training, up-skilling and retraining issues.


In summary there are some trend setting and early adopters who “get it” and are “at it.”  Research shows they will have the largest boost and benefits of these emerging technologies.  These are the Thrivers. Those in the “wait and see” stage will adapt but they will only stay in the same relative position as before.  They are the Survivors.  The late comers to adapting and adopting these new normal technologies are at serious risk of being out of business for competitiveness, productivity and cost issues.

As Darwin said, it is not the largest, the strongest or the smartest that survive…it is the most adaptive to change.  Enough said?  Are you ready to adapt to this new disruptive normal?  GO Productivity’s ARC and ARC+ program is a great place to get started and to assist you along your pathway to thriving in the new normal being created by exponential and disruptive technology!

Contact start@goproductivity.ca to learn more about the GO Productivity ARC program and how it can help you

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