Experts predict that over the next one year there will be a tremendous redistribution of social and economic power world-wide. This power is expected to shift from the traditional organizations which have failed to deliver to those individuals, communities and businesses whose leaders undertake timely action based on the changing trends.
Forecasters, Tracey S. Keys, Strategy Dynamics Global and Professor Thomas W. Malnight, IMD business school in Lausanne enumerate 10 trends that business leaders should keep an eye on in their Global Trends Report for 2013.
- Increased hold of social technologies: Social technologies are becoming an integral part of work and life with companies being reshaped to build broader and more agile networks to deliver more value to the customers. Connectedness and mobility will form the core of future business environments with focus on many-to-many relationship rather than one-to-one.
- New definition of value: Value will hold newer meaning for future business environments. Customers will want to be an active participant of value creation with focus on personalization. Everything will shift to a ‘made with me’ or ‘shared with me’ basis from the customers’ point of view.
- Mobility goes to the next level: Both consumption and production will become increasingly distributed. Consumption can happen anywhere and anytime. The tools and resources required for production as well as creation of value will also be widely distributed.
- The next technology wave in the form of smart machines and robots: Smart machines will be deployed in a wider range of applications. The upside being it can give a positive boost to the society in terms of social activities such as caring for the aged. But at the same time, it can result in job losses. However, a workforce can be developed to suit the new jobs created by this technology wave.
- Space race to continue pushing frontiers: New advances in space science can be expected with China, US and Europe in the race. Space race has affected our lifestyle with advanced materials and new technologies in global telecommunications and it will continue to do so. Questions regarding the ownership of ‘space assets’ will arise, so will the question of who benefits from these advances.
- Multi-polar market formation: Rapid economic and social development will take place in the BRICs and beyond giving rise to a multi-polar market scenario. All these markets will be based on starkly different socio-economic and political systems.
- Resource wars: The world’s population will hit 9 billion by 2050 and by 2030 we will be demanding twice as many resources that the Earth can supply. Newer technologies and rethinking ways of consumption will prove to be crucial in this scenario with businesses likely to lead the way.
- Purpose over profit: Businesses will take on a new role by shifting its focus from profit alone to purpose as well, with companies and partners tackling social and economic problems. Corporations will strive to build legitimacy in terms of its agenda and motivations, in front of its customers, employees and stakeholders. The businesses in turn would benefit from the society.
- Cyber security concerns: Knowledge and information will become the weapon for competitive edge among companies, individuals and even nations. With the rising mobility and democratization, ensuring cyber security will be a major item in the agenda for the future. There will be an explosion of cybercrime and cyber wars with multitudes of policies and regulations as well as litigations.
- Financial system will be reshaped: Regulators and businesses would want newer methods of financing their operations and consumers will also demand for alternatives to the conventional banking system. The ‘banks’ of the future will no longer use cash. Software companies and telcos will focus on digital wallets and mobile banking. Banks will no longer play key roles in this new crowded but cashless system.
Like any major changes, this blatant economic distribution soon to envelope the world poses both challenges and opportunities. For business leaders to comfortably transition into the new era, an insight into the changing trends would prove to be instrumental.