Intuition forms over time. When McKinsey began publishing the Quarterly, in 1964, a new management environment was just beginning to take shape. On April 7 of that year, IBM announced the System/360 mainframe, a product with breakthrough flexibility and capability. Then on October 10, the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympic Games, the first in history to be telecast via satellite around the planet, underscored Japan’s growing economic strength. Finally, on December 31, the last new member of the baby-boom generation was born.
Fifty years later, the forces symbolized by these three disconnected events are almost unrecognizable. Technology and connectivity have disrupted industries and transformed the lives of billions.