麦肯锡（McKinsey）董事马特•罗杰斯和斯坦福大学（Stanford）教授斯蒂芬•赫克在合作撰写的新书《资源革命：如何抓住本世纪最大的商机》（Resource Revolution: How To Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century）一书中颇有见地地提出了管理者应该如何改变对资源的认识，才能让自己的公司在21世纪不仅生存下去，还能茁壮成长。
Over the next 15 years, another 2.5 billion people in the developing world will join the middle class. China will add 2½ new cities the size of Chicago every year for the foreseeable future and will have 221 cities with over a million in population by 2025 (compared with 35 cities this size in Europe today). That kind of growth is going to create an unprecedented demand for oil, gas, steel, precious metals, water, and other precious resources. If we keep on our current course of consumption, commodity prices, food prices, and pollution levels are likely to spike, greatly increasing risks for business.
In their insightful new book Resource Revolution: How To Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century McKinsey director Matt Rogers and Stanford Professor Stefan Heck lay out a compelling road map for how managers need to change the way they think about resources if they want to not only survive but also thrive in the 21st Century.
Fortune's Brian Dumaine caught up with Matt Rogers recently to discuss the book, which will be published on April 1.
The conventional wisdom about resources is that we're running out, and we're all going to die. But you believe we're about to enter what you call a a resource revolution and that it will be the biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century.
Over the next two decades global growth will stress our resources, and that has a lot of people concerned. What gave us confidence to write the book is that we saw that you could combine advances in nanotechnology, materials science, information technology, and biology with traditional industrial technologies and meet resource requirements more easily than most expect.
Can you give us an example?
If we want to conserve our resources, we need to see big jumps in productivity, and that means fundamental changes in the way we make products and work with our customers. We're talking about 10X productivity improvements. We like to joke that you buy a car in order to park -- typically we only use our cars 4% of the time, and half of that time cars sit idle in traffic or looking for parking. This is where new business models like the car sharing service Zipcar, and online taxi companies like Uber and Lyft come into play. They can help increase usage of cars, and that means that we won't have to build as many cars for an increasing population. You might even say we might hit peak demand for autos at some point. Many of the new generation don't want to spend a large chunk of capital to own a car.
You also say in the book that another way to save resources is to see equipment as a service.
Yes, GE (GE) now sells jet engines by the hour of use. GE owns the engines and does all the servicing. It has sensors on engines today that let them monitor and repair them. The company can keep these engines running longer and better than the airlines can. The operational savings are significant -- the airlines don't have to buy as many planes because the ones they have are in the air longer. GE is starting to do the same thing with medical equipment, and even oilfield equipment.