2023 Predictions: What to Expect at the Intersection of Technology and Business Transformation in the
After several years of a pandemic, I had hoped we could finally stop using the term “unprecedented” – but here we are again!
Throughout 2022, the entire global business community navigated an unprecedented year of inflationary pressures, profound changes to the workplace, and a madman in Russia who appears to espouse suffering and disruption at a global scale.
While there will certainly be more headwinds in the near-future, we can also feel hopeful as we look to the new year ahead of us.
Difficult Times Drive a Flight to Quality
As entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders, difficult times can be extremely clarifying — sharpening priorities and quickly jettisoning anything that’s not important right now. Scarcity in the capital markets always drives a flight to quality. Businesses that might have been funded by “easy” money will no longer get funded, and that may not be a bad thing. (That business plan for selling day-old sushi on the Internet will have to wait another year!)
From a macro perspective, resources are being more smartly deployed. New ventures with good ideas and management teams that adhere to fundamental business principles are still getting funded. Indeed, history teaches us that the difficult times can birth some cool companies that later disrupt and create markets: Microsoft (1975 – oil embargo), Orbitz (2001 – dot com crash), and Airbnb (2008 – financial crisis).
The Wheels of Progress Cannot be Stopped
Even in times of economic uncertainty, progress and innovation find a way to flourish.
During the Great Depression, many people lost their jobs and businesses struggled. However, this period also saw the development of new technologies, such as the radio and the first electronic computer, that laid the foundation for future economic growth.
The 2008 financial crisis had a significant impact on the global economy, but it also spurred the development of new technologies, such as the rise of mobile payment systems and the proliferation of cloud computing.
More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic caused economic disruption and hardship around the world. However, it also led to rapid innovation and progress in areas such as telemedicine and online education, as people and businesses had to adapt to new ways of working and interacting. In terms of therapeutics, the pandemic greatly accelerated the development and distribution of mRNA vaccines, which may remain an enduring benefit.
Taken together, innovation is often driven by challenges and adversity, so don’t lose hope for the future. With hard work and determination, you can be a part of shaping the world’s next great innovation.
The Modern Workplace is No Longer Anchored to a Physical Office…
Remote work can create positive benefits in many areas, including productivity. Some often-cited examples are:
- Eliminating Commuting Time: One of the biggest benefits of working from home is that it eliminates the need to commute to and from an office, which can save a significant amount of time and reduce stress. This can allow people to start their workday earlier or work later into the evening, which can increase their overall productivity.
- Reducing Distractions: In an office environment, there can be many distractions that take people’s focus away from their work. Working from home can help to eliminate some of these distractions, as people can create their own work environment and control the things that might distract them.
- Enhancing Collaboration: While working from home can sometimes make it more challenging to collaborate with team members in person, it can also enable new forms of collaboration through the use of online tools and technologies – like Jira, Workday, and Zoom. This can make it easier for people to work together remotely and still be productive.
…But Requires Updated Management Techniques
Remote work requires better management techniques because it can be more challenging to manage and oversee employees who are working remotely than those who are working in a traditional office setting. Some of the ways that remote work requires better management techniques include:
- Communication and Inclusion: Communication is critical when managing a team that is working remotely, as it can be more difficult to have casual conversations or to get real-time feedback when people are not physically present. Managers need to be proactive about setting clear expectations, establishing regular check-ins, and using tools like video conferencing and online collaboration platforms to stay connected with their team.
- Setting Specific and Measurable Goals: It is important for managers to be clear about their expectations for performance and output when working with a remote team. This includes setting specific goals, deadlines, and deliverables, and establishing clear processes for how work will be done and how progress will be tracked, and creating short feedback loops that identify small problems before they become big problems.
- Trust but Verify: Remote work requires a high level of trust and autonomy, as employees who are working remotely will often have more control over their work environment and schedule. Managers need to trust that their team is capable of working independently and taking ownership of their work, and they should provide the necessary support and resources to enable their team to be successful.
Remote work actually creates the opportunity for better management techniques to emerge. For example, managers may need to be more proactive about seeking out feedback and encouraging open communication in order to stay connected with their team. They may also need to be more flexible and adaptable in their approach to managing their team, as remote work can introduce new challenges and constraints that require creative solutions. Ultimately, the ability to effectively manage a remote team requires strong leadership, good communication skills, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
Good Triumphs Over Evil
History has shown time and time again that good ultimately triumphs over evil. From the civil rights movement to the fight against dictatorships and oppression, the forces of good have continually prevailed and brought about positive change in the world. We keep working towards a better future and never lose hope that good will ultimately conquer evil.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that even in the darkest of times, better days are always ahead. The saying “it is darkest before dawn” is a reminder that things often seem the worst just before they start to get better. So as we begin another unprecedented year, let us keep this in mind and stay hopeful for the future. With hard work, determination, and traditional business fundamentals, we can overcome obstacles and create a better future for ourselves and those around us.