Changing Worlds 2013

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Even as the 2012 year comes to an end we should ponder some of the changes we can expect in 2013 and beyond. “Just let us get through this year!” I hear you saying. Just take a peak, because here are some of the changes you might expect to affect your work, leadership and life.

The infographic below comes from the work of Ross Dawson, and Future Exploration Network. I think it is a useful tool for considering the sorts of things that we can expect to disappear and those that we can expect to emerge. I agree with most of the predictions and would like to focus on several:

  1. Handwriting and spelling gone? Yes I certainly see this trend and I know it will create some cognitive dissonance with educators, and interesting debate with parents. I am wondering when our archaic exam systems will move beyond students producing handwritten essays; and when we can stop spending hours teaching handwriting in schools. What underlying features of handwriting and spelling do we want to keep?
  2. Self regulated leadership will become even more important. Ongoing ‘connection’ will make it more difficult than ever to switch off, to rest and to be mindful. What will you do about this beyond the Christmas break?
  3. Customisation/personalisation will continue to grow and technology will enhance the possibilities. Have you considered the effect of this on the way you lead? the way your business is designed to meet client needs?
  4. Intimacy will change, but I don’t agree it will disappear. We may see face to face relationships being even more valued. As augmented reality and empathetic robotics become more mainstream we may see a greater intimacy growing in the ‘non-human’ space. We will have to work hard to ensure we look beyond those who are like us and this will be a challenge.

As 2013 approaches you may like to use the above infographic as a conversation starter with leaders in your organisation. Here are some possibilities:

    • Circle the ‘Hellos’ and ‘Goodbyes’ that you find most challenging. Circle one or two you can see would affect your organisation and explore them in more depth.
    • Consider the two or three big ideas you see emerging from the infographic. How do they link with the direction of your industry?
    • Each identify a ‘Goodbye’ that really challenges you. Explore the pros and cons together.
    • Take one of the ‘Hellos’ each. Take 30 minutes to find out as much as possible about your ‘Hello.’  Share your findings on one slide each then decide which one you want to collectively monitor.
It is important to continually scan the horizon and to consider emerging trends. Whether you use this infographic or others available, be curious and find ways to move out of your comfort zone. We have enough sameness in the world. 


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