As a leader, are you seeing similar trends? What’s missing? What are you doing to prepare yourself and your organization to succeed during the next four years?
1. Leaders must pay attention to trends and predictions.
As the rate of change accelerates, if you take a “wait and see” stance, you will be caught unprepared. The intersection of volatility, changes in technology and global interconnection means there are threats and opportunities on all fronts and a large pool of organizations poised to leverage both. Speed continues to matter.
2. Leaders and their organizations are becoming agiler.
A survey of more than 2,500 organizations of different sizes, specialties and regions reported that “37 percent of respondents said their organizations are carrying out company-wide agile transformations, and another 4 percent said their companies have fully implemented such transformations.
The shift is driven by proof that small, multidisciplinary teams of agile organizations can respond swiftly and promptly to rapidly changing market opportunities and customer demands.”
As leaders, it’s important to adopt a nimble mindset and culture. Being nimble means paying attention to trends and identifying small “experiments” you can run to keep up with or even ahead of the changes happening around you. Once you are clear about what will work for you and how it will work, pilot that change. Truly agile companies are always experimenting.
3. Organizations and their people must accelerate their pace of learning.
With an increase in agility, people and organizations will need to accelerate learning. In 1978, Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus Chris Argyris wrote Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective. This work continues to evolve and increase in importance, as learning provides a competitive advantage.
Take, for example, how organizations are automating more work. Employees who continue to learn and update their skills will be able to find new roles, while others who are not continually learning will be left unemployed or underemployed as their roles diminish.
4. Age range in the workforce will continue to expand.
As life expectancy continues to increase, many people will want to and need to work longer. Organizations will need to find ways to attract and engage older workers. They will also need to address the dynamics created when multiple generations of employees are working together on the same team.
With the decrease of age-based seniority, leadership will be taken by the best person for the role and will likely shift frequently in an agile environment. Organizations need to be creative in promoting engagement and teamwork across multiple generations.
5. Leaders need to identify and build talent at an increasing rate.
As technology evolves and organizations change more quickly, employees need to learn faster, and organizations need to identify workers to fill changing talent needs. Some of these needs will fall in the technology space, but not all.
We referenced older employees remaining in the workforce and returning.
We also need to find ways to engage talent who have been previously overlooked. This could mean people leaving incarceration, people with disabilities who would, in fact, be great fits for certain roles, or adults who work from home because they are caregivers to their children or parents, to name a few.
6. Employee engagement will continue to be important in volatile times.
The importance of human interaction will continue to increase even as more of the workforce is working remotely – many rarely, if ever, meeting their colleagues. Leaders and organizations need to focus on soft skills such as emotional intelligence that have a strong impact on engagement and the effort employees put into communicating.
7. Communities must come together to solve quality-of-life and economic issues.
With the level of change, segments of the economy can easily be excluded from the workforce. The gap between economic haves (those with education, access and resources) and have-nots can increase, and the cost can be significant for the individuals, families and businesses impacted by a worker shortage.
Successful regions create organizations to tackle these challenges. This means organizations that traditionally compete for resources and clients also need to work together to solve challenges that impact them.
8. Effective leaders are conscious of their impact across a broad range of factors and stakeholders.
As we talk about conscious capitalism, the main idea is that “conscious” organizations tend to the health of a broad range of stakeholders. It becomes increasingly important to pay attention to the needs of competing stakeholders and balance these demands. Conscious capitalism is one mechanism that helps leaders explore the broader range of stakeholders and understand their drivers.
Business is getting more complicated and requires leaders to continually update their skills as well as their mindset and focus. This article summarizes some of my key learnings.
The distribution of work between humans and machines will experience a significant shift between today and 2022. Up until now, around 71% of all work in such industries as aviation, financial services, automotive, and energy utilities has been performed by humans.
However, by 2022, this number is expected to drop to 58%, with 42% of tasks being performed by machines. The question then is the following: What are the skills you need to develop to be prepared for this economic storm and all the digitalization-related trends?
The current state of affairs in the global labor market to see which kinds of skills are facing a decline in demand and which are experiencing an increase.
As you can see in the table below, truly human skills like analytical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, leadership, and emotional intelligence (together with technical fluency) will be in high demand in 2022.
The demand for such human skills as innovation, leadership, analytical thinking, and creativity will only continue rising.