2020 will be a tipping point for leaders

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The end of 2016 is just over two weeks away and perhaps you, like me, are seeing the pace ease off a little creating a tad more thinking space to consider future direction and trends. Consider then, that 2020 is shaping up to be a tipping point. A few short years from now research indicates that as a generation, Millennials will be the dominant workforce generation, far bigger than Gen X and bigger even than the ever present Baby Boomers.

In fact, it’s estimated that 42% of Australia’s workforce will be Millennials, the oldest of whom will be in their mid-thirties and occupying senior roles. Thinking about the extent of generational change means companies need to begin preparing now, not only for the generational baton change but other emerging trends.

Here are five worth considering:

Leading and Managing a Casual/Freelance Workforce: It’s estimated more than one in three people will be employed on this basis in 2020; some because casual work will be the only work available. However, for others, the choice to freelance will be a deliberate one as Millennials are willing to trade security for independence.

Customers wanting 24/7 access to a raft of products and services: When this topic is raised, people think about on-line access, however by 2020 it will reach well beyond this. Some needs will be demand driven, others not so. Consider the following: a more casual oriented workforce means people are less likely to work 9 to 5 in offices, they will work remotely and during hours that suit lifestyle choices which in turn means services will need to be available at a time and place to meet their needs.

Networks, Relationships and Collaboration will increase in importance: As the dominance of China and other Asian countries continues to grow relationships will become more important. A high percentage of major companies in Asia are family owned and for such companies the quality of relationships is considered a foundation on which future business is built. Further, with speed of change and disruption continuing, companies need to realise collaboration, not going it alone, will be key by 2020.

Core leadership and management functions will need to be rethought: People skills will be paramount and will surpass systems and processes in importance as will quality of communication and values and culture. The communication channels and options will be even greater in four years’ time; leaders will need to know how to use the strengths of these multiple channels. Millennials are strongly values driven and are responsive to values-based leadership. Leaders who fail to “walk the talk” will do so at their own peril in 2020.

Complexity will be the new normal. The first person I heard use the acronym VUCA to describe the current state of play was Kevin Roberts Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi; Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. If we take just one example, President-elect Donald Trump will be into the third year of his four year term. Presently, he is just over a month away from being sworn in as President – is anyone game enough to predict what is likely to occur during his presidency?

So as 2016 heads towards a conclusion we have a great deal to contemplate as leaders with 2020 just over 1,000 days away.

Viventé Australia enables leaders and managers develop the bond between people and performance, creating a powerful advantage: the synergy between people, leadership, management, and culture, produces performance that allows your business to achieve its best.