Over the course of the next 5, 10 to 15 years, more and more businesses will be making a significant transition in the change of Senior Leadership. Baby Boomers will be moving onto their retirement resorts & afternoon naps, making way for the following generations of Executives. The Gen X’ers or Millennial’s. We felt the narrow, bottom line focused, work harder to get ahead mentalities in many of the past decades. It was the right style, for the right time in many cases. Upcoming decades will also be marked by trends and practices that will need to evolve in order for companies to survive.
Prior to 2025, Executive leaders will need to be very conscious and deliberate of their plan to ensure diversity and inclusion exists within their organization. While some companies have already made it a core value, it will need to grow beyond that. Think of the number of foreign nationals and women working in corporate America 20 years ago. Now, think about that number today. It stands to continually increase as we move forward into the 2020’s. Consider the fact that we will have more generations that all think & act differently, working together than ever before. Companies without a strategy will be left behind. Leaders who do not have the ability to distinguish, value and leverage differing working styles will also suffer.
Until recently, many companies have been able to get by without a forward looking Technology strategy to differentiate themselves. Innovation is occurring at alarming rates and nanotechnology continues to advance. Automation of processes and procedures, industrial efficiencies and other ‘work smarter, not harder’ break throughs are occurring each day. Executives of the future will be even harder pressed to remain creative, rather than reactive, in order to avoid obscurity. R & D teams will be an important part of strategy, even for small businesses. R & D, which is abbreviating Research & Development, not Robbing & Duplicating, which will become even more prevalent in the near future.
Yet, the biggest shift that new Executive leaders will naturally have to make is understanding the concept of Work/Life Integration. Environmental, economical and other factors will have tomorrow’s Executive leader focused on how to better leverage practices that will not only create better cultures and help the environment, but also improve operating margins. Work from home solutions, virtual meetings, tablets, video phones and work share spaces will be taken to the next level in upcoming years. It will be up to the new Executive leaders to determine where it makes sense for their organization and where it doesn’t. This fine line continues to make headlines in business and business culture. This is only the beginning of a dramatic change that is just beginning to take place.
Josh Streets is the Culture & Operations leader for TrueNorth Companies - a new Great Place to Work customer.