The business world will change dramatically in the next 10-25 years. For one thing, due to a declining worldwide birthrate, the U.S., China, India, Europe, and parts of South America will struggle with labor shortages as the Baby Boomers retire en masse.
Global corporations will increase in size even as they become flatter in structure, virtual workspaces will become commonplace, social welfare will be a priority, and technology will remain king. As an up and coming leader, what can you do to prepare for success in this brave new world? Here are some topline ideas:
Focus on the training and development of Millennials (those born 1979-94, currently in their twenties)
Generation X, the group in between the Boomers and the Millennials, is too small to take over the reins, so Millennials must be primed for leadership positions at a younger age.
Combat employee burnout
Meetings occurring across time zones and 24/7 access to technology mean longer work days. Be on the lookout for employees who seem overwhelmed and take steps to help them cope with this increasingly complex work environment.
Consider your mobility strategy
Competitive organizations will engage in more and more cross-national initiatives (for instance, an Indian company may hire a Brazilian team to manage a project in Europe), and PriceWaterhouseCoopers predicts a 50 percent growth in overseas assignments by 20/20. Employees want the opportunity to help their companies expand – can you give it to them?
Increase your social focus
In the future, corporate social responsibility will be a business imperative rather than something we’d like in an ideal world, so the most successful leaders will be able to help their organizations “do well by doing good.” Also, you will need to be concerned with the social welfare of your employees if you want to attract and retain the best talent.
Be collaborative and well-rounded
The top-down management model is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Successful managers in the near future will be expected to lead by motivating and sharing responsibility with team members. This approach will require an ever-widening skill set, including technical, administrative, human resources, and financial abilities.