Leadership 2030: The Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future
Leadership 2030 is the result of a ground-breaking foresight research and analysis program conducted by Hay Group and Z_Punkt.
The research identified 20 global megatrends, pinpointing the six that will create the greatest shifts in the business environment.
The authors studied these six megatrends and examined how they interact. They canvassed hundreds of business leaders and academics about them. And they analyzed Hay Group data from thousands of employees around the world on their views of their organizations’ leadership practices.
This analysis provided a detailed view of the causes and consequences of each megatrend at three important levels:
the business environment
leaders and their teams.
From this, the authors set out what leaders will need to do to succeed in a world shaped by the megatrends.
1. Globalization 2.0
Globalization 2.0 is fundamentally different from its predecessor. A new world order is emerging.
Economic power is shifting to Asia. Trade is booming between developing markets, leaving ‘old’ economies increasingly out of the loop. The East is no longer merely the sweatshop of the West.
A new global middle class is on the rise, and competition is intensifying for highly localized markets. Blink and opportunities will be missed: businesses will need to fine-tune their radars to local dynamics.
A single, centralized strategy will no longer cut it in the world of globalization 2.0. The need to embrace diversity – in all its forms – is greater than ever. ‘Think global, act local’ has never been more apt.
Click here for a PDF summary of the globalization 2.0 megatrend
2. Environmental crisis
The signs of climate change are becoming frighteningly real. At the same, critical natural resources – oil, water, and minerals – are running out.
As the environmental crisis worsens, sustainability will be critical to survival for organizations. Carbon reduction will be essential to market competitiveness. Firms will need to restructure operations as the environment moves from CSR to the bottom line.
Leaders will need to embed sustainable cultures and communicate a clear rationale for such radical change. And they will need to provide absolute clarity over what this means for day-to-day roles and performance.
Sustainable structures and depleting resources will not come cheap. Costs will explode. It will be down to leaders to communicate this ‘new normal’ to stakeholders.
Coping with the environmental crisis will call for transformational strategic thinking. And it will require new forms of collaboration – at times with competitors – to achieve the complex solutions demanded.
Click here for a PDF summary of the environmental crisis megatrend
3. Individualism and value pluralism
With wealth comes choice. Under globalization 2.0, millions of people will discover a wider range of life and career options. And they will have the freedom to make decisions based on values, not economics.
This will transform their motives as employees and consumers. Lifestyle, recognition, self-expression and ethics will take priority over price, pay and promotion. Organizations should no longer expect loyalty.
Firms will need to get closer to their markets and workforces than ever before. They must understand every worker and customer as an individual, or lose out on talent and business.
Agile organizations will seize on local market opportunities and the growing demand for customized offerings. Smart employers will design ways of working to suit individuals, not the organization. This will demand more flexible, less centralized and flatter structures.
A new breed of leaders will be needed to engage diverse and highly individualized teams. The key will be to provide autonomy within a clear set of boundaries, to foster the conditions for people to perform.
Click here for a PDF summary of the individualism and value pluralism megatrend
4. The digital era
Technology is shifting the balance of power away from organizations and their leaders.
In the digital era, consumers readily pick and choose, compare providers, and trade between themselves. Employees can operate anywhere, anytime, on any device, challenging the need for traditional workplaces and hierarchies.
Working practices are therefore being transformed as work and the workplace go mobile. Social media is eroding the established boundaries between private and professional life. And reputations are at risk from disgruntled individuals who think nothing of holding firms to account online.
This virtual domain appeals to younger generations, who readily embrace digital technology, giving them a technological edge over older colleagues. Yet these ‘digital natives’ may lack respect for corporate conventions. Organizations must accommodate and cross-skill both groups.
In a climate of transparency, leaders must display high standards of integrity and sincerity. They will need to manage dispersed and diverse individuals with different degrees of digital competence; and foster unity, engagement and collaboration among loose-knit teams who rarely meet.
Click here for a PDF summary of the digitalization megatrend
5. Demographic change
The world’s population is expanding and getting older.
Many Western societies are maturing to the point that they will soon begin to perform less effectively.
An aging populace means a shrinking global workforce, chronic skills shortages and a fierce war for talent. Developing economies may experience a ‘brain cycle’ as migrants return home, bringing new skills and demands.
Businesses will need to attract, develop and retain a global pool of highly diverse talent. They will need structures, cultures and practices that harness diversity and enable each individual to thrive.
Leaders must learn to live with ambiguity and conflicting trends and demands. They will need to be tuned to their employees’ needs. Listening skills and empathy will be vital to identify what motivates each team member. A single rallying cry to the workforce will no longer suffice.
Click here for a PDF summary of the demographic change megatrend
6. Technological convergence
Advanced technologies are joining forces to transform many aspects of everyday life.
NBIC technologies will produce powerful innovations in medicine, communications, manufacturing, energy, food production, and many more important areas. The race for innovation is on.
The convergence of nano, bio, information and cognitive sciences will generate untold new product markets, and make others obsolete. Businesses must ensure that short-term financial pressures do not obscure the need to invest in long-term, pioneering R&D.
The need for innovation will foster an era of ‘big’ collaboration – between divisions, companies, and whole scientific disciplines. New, more open forms of corporate structure will allow unprecedented levels of knowledge-sharing. This will require exceptional collaboration and influencing skills.
Leaders will need to stay abreast of progress and spot killer applications – in fields they may not fully understand. They will need to live with uncertainty, as the outcomes of NBIC innovation are highly unpredictable. And they must remain sensitive to society’s reaction to radical technological leaps.
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