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The pace of change in our world is staggering, particularly in technological advancements, and keeping up with these changes is always challenging. As part of my work as a futurist and an adviser to companies and government organizations, my role is to provide business leaders with an overview of the key trends that are changing the way we do business.
To ride the wave of transformation and build resilient businesses that are more successful, leaders must be aware of emerging trends and potentially rethink their products and services, and how they deliver them.
Here are three of the biggest trends redefining organizations today:
The number one job of any business is to make our world a better place, and with the current threats of the climate change crisis and the decline of our natural resources, companies must do everything possible to build a balanced, sustainable relationship with our planet.
More people are becoming conscious consumers and trying to make buying choices that are more sustainable and responsible. Consumers are considering a company’s eco-credentials alongside traditional factors such as value and price. Specifically, consumers want to know:
With the help of online technology, consumers can easily research the answers to these questions before they decide to make a purchase. Because of the rise of conscious consumerism, businesses must work to ensure their products are ethically produced and made from sustainable materials. They must also invest in more sustainable business operations and processes to minimize environmental impact.
Organizations also need to ensure that they aren’t just focused on serving up profits – they should serve a meaningful purpose that people can genuinely connect to. A strong purpose defines why an organization exists, and how it is striving to create a positive impact in the world.
Businesses also have the obligation to help make our world more equal. According to the United Nations, inequality affects more than 70 per cent of the global population, and the gap between the very rich and the poor continues to grow. Businesses must help rethink our economic and democratic systems to tackle issues of inequality to make the world a fairer and more equitable place for everyone.
We have never lived in a time with so many transformative technologies. Technology trends like machine learning, robotics, blockchain and the metaverse are creating groundbreaking shifts in every business in every industry.
What does that mean for businesses? It means:
That said, companies must use all these new advances strategically, to help them deliver maximum returns, rather than adopting technology for technology’s sake.
Having the right people on board is still the biggest differentiator for any company. In the workplace of the future, it’s critical that organizations find the right balance between what people do and what machines do.
It is more important than ever to attract and retain talent, and in a post-pandemic world, companies have opened up their hiring to a global pool of potential workers. To find and keep great talent, companies are:
Of course, the three major business trends we’ve talked about – sustainability and equality, tech breakthroughs, and talent recruitment changes – are all interlinked.
For example, companies that want to provide a growth-oriented environment for their workers so they can attract top talent might take advantage of opportunities to incorporate virtual reality training technology as part of their onboarding process.
Forward-thinking organizations are staying on top of every emerging trend and looking for opportunities that exist at the intersection of these patterns.