When we think globally, it’s helpful to study global trends. According to PMI, (Project Management Institute) these are the top global megatrends of 2022: digital disruption, climate crisis, demographic and economic shifts, labor shortages and civil, civic and equality movements.
Forbes five biggest trends for 2023 includes most of the same megatrends: digital transformation, inflation and supply chain security, sustainability, immersive customer experience and the talent challenge. For our brief discussion here, I will incorporate this research to help us think globally as we face another year. I will be sharing five trends, stating statistics, but also the application that we can obtain from those statistics.
Trend One: Digital Disruption
Most every field is impacted by the constant change and advancement of technology. Newsletters tout the newest research as Longevity Insider with medical breakthroughs and Futureloop, which explores how converging exponential technologies are transforming industries and lives. They are revealing the possibilities of cutting-edge innovation and research.
According to McKinsey Research, companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions by three to four years. Part of this was due to the effect of COVID and establishing online channels. They’ve also been able to increase the rate at which they develop products and services. It’s the silver lining to the storm-cloud when new technologies develop in times of difficulty.
Using technology to automate, increase productivity and further develop products and services is an advantage of the advancement of technological tools. In my online course, A New Way of Doing Business, I speak of the automation hub and how it can free up time and marketing dollars. This is a small example of the possibilities of the power of automation.
With the PMI’s Pulse of the Profession which documents in-depth research among 1,730 project management professionals globally, 84% of innovators said the cloud is giving their organization a competitive advantage, compared to 57% for those who are non-users. Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) gave 60% of innovators a competitive advantage, compared to 22%. We see AI even used with Miso’s RaaS (robot-as-a-service) solutions. Jack in the Box and White Castle are already on board to use robots to automate their kitchens. We still need workers to run the robots, but the advantage of their use is readily apparent with the long hours they can work with no breaks. Though they can break down too. So humans will always be a part of production in some way.
Trend Two: Climate Crisis
Environmental concerns have been top-of-mind with weather changes, threat of global warming, rising sea levels, shortages of drinking water and death from disease. This hot button trend has triggered governmental regulations with very little overall impact.
Electric vehicles, though they have zero to no emissions have issues, such as battery charging times, safety and the environmental impacts of lithium-ion batteries. Also, if they ever catch fire, they are very hard to extinguish. The fire can burn fiercely and even explode. The unstoppable battery fire is called thermal runaway. This is a concern that is not readily touted for those vehicles. Also, disposing of those batteries could be a huge issue in the coming decades unless there are acceptable solutions.
Optimal utilization of our resources along with technology implemented in the private sector, as well as public sector can move the needle more than endless regulations. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 7% from year to year since 1990. Many businesses have capitalized on an environmental-friendly approach, though the U.S. is responsible for only 14% globally. Technology will prove to be one of the major game-changers in terms of sustainability with companies communicating their actions and commitment. Buyers will respond. There are issues where we can all do our small part, especially with recycling.
Trend Three: Demographic Shifts and Labor Shortage
A declining fertility rate and workers aging out of the workforce will require organizations to find new ways to capitalize on talent. A rise in the age of retirement helps with older workers staying in the workforce but the need for skilled project managers and innovators makes finding younger talent challenging. Especially with the emphasis on work-life balance.
According to the article The War to Define What Work Looks Like in the Wall Street Journal, hybrid work is here to stay. More than 20,000 Google employees globally have requested to go fully remote or transfer to a new location. One of our sons, who’s an attorney, has been working remotely since the COVID shutdowns and shares that he’d probably change companies if made to go back to working in an office full-time. He still puts in the hours and says he gets more done more efficiently with his current situation. He does have a strong work ethic so I believe him. There are many others who feel the same way he does.
An entrepreneur with a small, or even mid-sized business, will usually work extra hours if needed to get the job done. If not, there are personal and business consequences. For a worker within a company, those consequences are not as easily personalized and extra work can be justified to be put off for another day. Instilling a sense of ownership and creativity with practical skills for a team will be a major challenge going forward.
Trend Four: Economic Shifts
Supply chain issues and inflation are top-of mind. The economic outlook for most of the world doesn’t look great in 2023. Many industries are still plagued by supply chain issues. According to Bloomberg, as demand has slackened, American store chains are now sitting on so much inventory that brands have resorted to listing their goods on resale websites.
Many companies are playing it safe with additional inventory. Nearly 8% of surplus stock globally will ultimately end up as waste with about $163 billion of inventory tossed annually. This further contributes to the environmental issues. About 85% of all textiles thrown away in the U.S. are either dumped into landfills or burned. The average American throws away approximately 80 lbs. of clothes every year.
The inflation level is currently at 7.7 percent compared to a year ago. However, I still see restaurants filled with people and crowds at shopping malls. According to LendingTree, since the third quarter of 2021, credit card balances have risen by 15%, or $121 billion. It’s the largest year-over-year jump in more than 20 years. This is a serious issue and I encourage all readers to listen and read my article How to Survive Inflationary Times with the free default budget download.
Trend Five: Civil, Civic and Equality Movements
We are a country divided, no matter what side of the political aisle you are on. The women’s right to vote came with the 19th amendment, passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Since then, women have made significant inroads into the workforce and educationally, such as women’s sports. They have taken a huge leap with many women athletes receiving scholarships and educational opportunities because of increased funding and resources. I applaud the inroads for giving young girls and women those opportunities.
But in my opinion, too much focus on race and equality in most every area of society has further divided us. When finishing my graduate arts degree, I had a woman grad advisor, who was a woman of color. She was the smartest, most helpful and kindest member of my team. My point in sharing this is there was no focus on gender or race. She had equipped herself to be a quality candidate in obtaining her position, and I was to benefit.
In history, the melting-together metaphor was in use by the 1780s. The term Melting pot came into general usage in the U.S. in 1908, describing a fusion of nationalities, cultures and ethnicities. The danger in regulating affirmative action programs and diversity programs is to discriminate against those who are not of a certain race, color or nationality. It’s a tricky tightrope of a topic. Many slap on a charge of racism but that is a shortcut. The blame of racism can be a boomerang that could come right back to hit us in the face. That’s something to think about!
Think Globally with Your Application
- Evaluate and add select technological tools to free up your time and expand your effectiveness.
- Be aware of what you can do with recycling, especially clothing.
- Look for ways to inspire your team with ownership of your mission and purpose.
- Watch the cash and use it wisely, planning for the next two years. Download our free Goal Setting Worksheets.
- Work to be color and race-blind in your relationships.
Optimal utilization of our resources along with technology implemented in the private sector, as well as public sector can move the needle more than endless regulations.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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