What Future Trends Are Transforming Our Lives and Businesses Today?

How does your future look today?How does your future look today?

The last year has transformed the way of life and work. Many of us have lost friends and loved ones who cannot be replaced. The pandemic has shaken the belief systems of people who, in the past, seemed unbreakable. It has caused many of us to explore our lives more fully. How do you see your future today?

Many things that seemed so important to us 18 months ago are of little importance as we go through summer noticing the people we’ve lost. They are gone forever. In many cases, we didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye.

This pandemic has brought forth many new ways of doing things. They even have a word for it, Zooming, and almost all of us have done it. Both personally and professionally. Currently Zoom has over three hundred million daily Zoom meeting participants.

Can social audio provide a bridge to the future?

Interestingly, an old friend has returned to provide comfort and social activities for those of us that couldn’t get out. Social Audio has risen to provide a way for people to connect with others around the world. As of today, over 18 million people have downloaded the Clubhouse app. The audio only format along with a shrewd marketing campaign gave the platform an early edge.

Many other competitors from earlier social media platforms are appearing to keep you engaged in new ways. Only time will determine who is the winner in this highly competitive social audio marketplace. You can learn more about these emerging social audio platforms here at The Future of Social Audio: Startups, Roadmap, Business Models, and a Forecast by Jeremiah Owyang.

Will live video transform your social media experiences?

Video platforms continue grow and thrive with Tick Tock disrupting YouTube as a key choice of the next generation of creators and influencers. It’s still early with many of the larger social media platforms reengineering their platforms for the next generation of video consumers.

These facts help shape the discussion about where the future of social is going and how we might get there. The past year has accelerated the convergence between personal and professional lives. As a futurist, I could anticipate these possibilities due to several hard trends. You can learn more about hard trends at Are hard trends the secret of predicting your future? My knowledge of soft trends could not have forecasted how quickly these trends transform our lives and work.

As I write this, a new strain of COVID has arrived on the scene. Many parts of our world are impacted but the full range of the possible long-term effects is yet to be determined.  

Based on these disruptors, I’ve chosen five trends that will impact the world’s population. Several of these trends are interrelated to each other. They also provide significant opportunities for organizations who can harness them to disrupt their own markets. If the COVID pandemic does nothing else, it should provide proof as to how interconnected the world really is.

Here are the five trends that our transforming our lives and businesses. I share the five trends today. I will then put together an online interactive meeting to hear your thoughts on how they impact you today and as we move into the future. We are partnering with several long-term clients to develop a series of podcasts around each of these topics. It will be a crowdsourced podcast which is of itself another trend.  

Future wellbeing includes helping others do well.

 Shared experiences help build our own confidence in ourselves and others. In the past year, people have done amazing things to support various people in different and, many times, difficult circumstances. We found out we are more similar than we imagined.

This sparks an increase in giving and charitable activities. Knowing what you do and who you are doing it for makes a difference.  Many of us step up and make our communities a better place. You can learn more about this trend at Volunteer Programs That Employees Can Get Excited About

Individual career paths that transform employee experience and engagement.

What happens when traditional ways of work break down? How do you keep people engaged and focused on what matters most to them?

 We are entering an accelerated learning age where, if you want to transform your life, all the tools you need are available online. Self-directed learning and more flexible work environments help you learn faster and help you achieve your dreams.

Early retirements have provided many smaller organization’s team members an opportunity to take charge of their lives and advance their careers at the same time. New learning programs cost a fraction of what traditional education costs. Thes future belongs to leaders who embrace continuous learning.

You get an opportunity to work with many of the world’s best leaders and educators virtually. It’s providing the next generation of leaders increasing flexibility in how they chose and develop their career options.

Future learning organizations leverage hybrid team structures.

Remote or onsite, that was the question. Not anymore. Innovative technologies and increased employer flexibility should provide teams many different options when working. This should give people an opportunity to own their schedules.

Several of my clients shared that many of their younger women team members would be open to working from home, not only during the pregnancy, but after as well. This could women move into more senior positions in their careers. This article was a great starting point when discussing and designing career options for women with HR professionals in family businesses Flexible work programs can help retain working women if designed thoughtfully

With an upcoming talent shortage, this new, more flexible workforce provides you an opportunity to attract a wide range of talent to your hybrid teams.

Free agents empower many future entrepreneurial ventures.

I have worked on many new projects that would not have been available to me several years ago. Many organizations are using free agent talent to augment their teams.

For example, I’m currently coaching my replacement, the future COO. The good news is I work with her on developing critical skills she needs for her new role and after 6 months I go to work on to my next assignment as fractional COO.

When done correctly this can save an organization significant money and help them retain their best talent. All the leaders I’ve worked with on this type of program are still in their senior role and preparing their succession plans. It’s a huge plus for everyone involved.

Accelerating technological change transforms the future.

Finally, I’m a coach. My role is to help my clients achieve their potential. In the past, I would painstakingly work with clients on all aspects of their roles.

Today, I invest my time helping organizations become employers of choice. This requires my clients to look at their teams as their customers and clients. Great organizations will learn how to empower their managers to connect more deeply with their team members throughout the employee development process.

To achieve this goal, I help clients use several accelerated learning programs to supplement their just in time coaching sessions. This allows my clients to invest in a wider range of leadership talent. It also means they are less likely to lose their best people.

Most younger people want their employers to invest in their shared future. Accelerated learning is the wave of the future. Several programs I’ve participated in provide remote training to their teams in real time. It allows them to provide the needed information in real time.

So now that we’ve talked about these current trends, starting next week, I’ll share some strategies and tactics to help you achieve these goals.  You may be surprised at how easily they can be implemented!  See you next week.

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