The accelerating rate of change in our working world is a topic we never get tired of discussing. But rather than simply musing over what’s landing in organisations today, we set our sights further; thinking ahead across the issues likely to impact organisations and their people tomorrow.
Inspired by conversations with our clients and leaders in the industry, our expert team collaborated and co-created our inaugural scarlettabbott World Changers report.
Identifying ten key trends that leaders should be planning for today, the report hits on themes of emerging and ageing technology, mental health, skills gaps and inclusivity, with actionable advice for leaders, HR, IC and engagement professionals to work into their 2020 strategies.
I asked Rachel Thornton, our co-founder, about the generation of the report, her thoughts on the emerging trends and her advice for business leaders into 2020 and beyond.
Rachel, what sparked the idea for World Changers?
“State of the sector reports are nothing new. But we know that what’s important to our clients – and indeed anyone in the HR or IC world – is breathing space, headroom to be less reactive and to plan and think ahead. It’s easier said than done when we spend our working lives ‘heads down’ and delivering, which is why we created World Changers.
We’re in a uniquely privileged position to objectively assess our clients’ challenges, spot emerging trends and align them to wider, long term global issues – and then provide solid advice for tackling those challenges.”
10 very different trends emerged in the report. How easy were they to surface?
“They varied greatly. Some of the trends we’re diving into are causing issues right now in many organisations. Leaders are grappling with the impact and need to react. We’ve looked down the line to project how best to mitigate them, both risks and opportunities, and how they’re likely to continue to evolve.
Some of the topics have been on our radar for a while but we see the trend evolving. For example, take the dialogue around mental health. It’s a popular topic, but recently the conversation has shifted to expand on what issues to support and what the employer’s role could be.
How did you approach the creation of the report?
“We see business trends covering a wide range of territory, so it was important to ensure a rounded and holistic perspective. Our consultants each championed a trend they felt passionately about and could speak to from their client’s experiences."
There can be a gulf between having awareness of an issue and actually acting on it. What’s your advice to leaders who want to make real changes in response to these trends?
“Being confronted with issues that are likely to have a serious, lasting impact on your people is a daunting prospect. Either because the impact is could be a negative one, and it feels like a big hurdle to overcome. Or, because the change is positive and there’s huge pressure to capitalise on it and not miss a golden opportunity. My advice either way is to take the first step.
Examine the issue in the context of your business, your strategy, your team and yourself. What does each issue mean when considered through each of these lenses?
We created a STORMS model to form a plan of action on a tricky, complex or tough issue.
My tip is to make a start. Do something! The journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step."
Request your copy of the 2020 World Changers report.