Challenges Tomorrow’s Leaders Face as Workplace and Market Dynamics Change
How we work is rapidly changing. Remote workers, freelancers, consultants and a global marketplace have all led to the most diverse workforce in history. It’s also one that requires future leaders to prepare if they want to succeed. Tomorrow’s leaders will face many challenges.
These changes are of special interest for those who earn an MBA and have set their sights on becoming leaders in the business world. The environment they work in will not look like the one their parents worked in – or even their older siblings.
“The next fifteen years will see a revolution in how we work, and a corresponding revolution will necessarily take place on how we plan and think about workplaces,” according to Peter Andrew, director of workplace strategy for CBRE Asia Pacific, which worked on a report that projected what changes will happen in the workplace by 2030.
Here are some of the changing market and workplace dynamics that business leaders will have to handle in the coming years.
Technology will continue to change how business is conducted. It already has led to the rapid increase of remote workers and outside consultants. So much so, that a 2018 Deloitte study found only 42% of organizations reported that their staff was made up primarily of salaried employees. Technology has changed how employees communicate, how important records are stored and led to more data-driven strategies for many companies.
Top-down management is not going to work in a situation where there is high employment and a growing number of workers are Millennials. That generation expects more involvement in their work life and won’t thrive in a situation where they are simply given orders to follow. Smart leaders will identity challenges. Then they will build teams that will work together on providing solutions. As a result, helping them retain the best and brightest workers.
Focus on Soft Skills
The workforce is increasingly spread out in separate locations. Leaders are working on being more inclusive on decision-making. Consequently, soft skills are going to take on even more importance. That’s not just for leaders, but also for the people they hire to take on important jobs in the organization. These include skills such as:
- Critical thinking
- Strong communication skills
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Active listening
The marketplace has always shifted, but those shifts are coming faster than ever. Much of this has to do with technology, a highly competitive online marketplace and emerging global markets. Leaders will need to have an all-encompassing strategy that keeps a business competitive in its industry as new businesses emerge and attempt to take market share.
Stay On Top of Trends
Everyone else can focus on their job and doing it well. Leaders must focus on the present and keep one eye always on the future. Keeping up with trends in the marketplace requires dedicating time and energy to tapping into sources in your industry. Some tips for doing that include:
- Reading industry reports
- Joining trade associations
- Attending conferences and seminars in your business niche
- Following thought leaders in your industry on social media
- Using data analytics to spot trends among your own customers
- Surrounding yourself with smart people
Surrounding yourself with sharp, motivated people is a sure way to keep up with what is happening in the industry. You should also consult them on big decisions (remember, it’s about a team approach).
Increasingly, forward-thinking companies are adopting a results-oriented work environment (ROWE) that puts more emphasis on accountability and completing tasks than on where the employee does the work. This goes hand-in-hand with remote workers and outside consultants. It’s the opposite of micromanaging, with leaders instead clearly explaining their expectations for a work product and then letting the workers meet those expectations with a minimum amount of supervision.
These are some of the changes in market dynamics and work environments that leaders of tomorrow will need to prepare to handle today. Earning an MBA can be a good step in the right direction if becoming a successful leader is your ultimate career goal.
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