Friday, May 28, 2010

Six Supertrends: What Does the Future Hold?

Are you really strategic? What to do some "think-tank" type of thinking? Well here is your chance. Edward Cornish, in his book Futuring: The Exploration of the Future talks about Six Supertrends. I find this kind of reading facsinating and certainly deserving of some thought for the future of HR. So lets take a look. These SUPER TRENDS include:
  1. Technological Progress. Yeah I know what you are thinking "Ho-hum, we have had that forever." But have you ever really sat down and thought about the implications for your job, your company and you personally? Obviously the Industrial Revolution and the ongoing Cybernetic Revolution have had significant impacts on business and personal lives. What will the world look like in a Biotechnology Revolution and then again in Nanotechnology Revolution? These are not far off. In fact here is a list of companies involved in Nanotechnology. How is this going to change the face of HR?
  2. Economic Growth. Well this one seems a bit thin at the moment, but that is just part of the long-term cycle of growth. In the long-term people will be richer, the standard of living across the world will be higher and the desire to accumulate will grown. What impact will this have on you, your employees and the goods and services your company offers?
  3. Improving Health. Face it, we are going to live longer and healthier. This means that they may want to work longer. And stay on healthcare (whatever form it takes) longer. How will  you have to change things to accommodate people being around another 10 years?
  4. Increasing Mobility. Increased health, increased wealth, increased transportation all translate into people moving around more. And people are not the only thing that will have increased mobility. Goods and information (although I have a hard time imaging info moving faster) will move at a much accelerated pace. This all means a SMALLER GLOBE. But it may also mean social and cultural changes with a resulting impact on families and communities.
  5. Environmental Decline. Let's face it. People are SLOBS! There are more messy bedrooms than there are clean ones and this has become a global phenomenon. If there is not some reversal (clean your "room" or there will be no dinner) all our beach vacations will come ready made with a coating of oil. (Perhaps not a bad thing. Built in sunscreen for the depleted ozone layer?)
  6. Increasing Deculturation. This means a loss of traditional culture. This deculturation may mean changes in languages, adapation of behaviors and much more. A much bigger mixture than we have experienced to date. How can you adapted to the good and bad of this?
So there you have it. How are these going to change you? If you wish to read the book you can find it here.


Drew Hawkins said...

The economic growth and health care are great points. People will have a higher standard of living which will make them live longer and want to work longer. I wonder how many companies are planning ahead for the fact that most people aren't going to be outta there bby 55-60. My generation will probably see a lot of 70+ year olds still working

Redcort Software said...

Technological Progress as a SuperTrend is mostly much more mundane than nanotechnology. Unfortunately, it's also much more immediate.

For instance, in the world of HR, just a few years ago, small business payroll was largely either done in house or outsourced to an accountant. Over the last 2 years or so, online payroll has revolutionized payroll as a third way that can dramatically reduces cost while enhancing employee satisfaction with the payroll experience. In a similar way, our employee time clock software brings game changing advances to worker time and attendance at a price that virtually all businesses can now afford and easily support.

Keith DeLong
CEO, Redcort Software