How to respond to Megatrends (and why should you need to?)

A favourite film from 2014 was Guardians of the Galaxy, a tall tale of 5 disparate heroes saving worlds from total destruction. In the same year, PWC released Megatrends(2014), a study of 5 disparate forces set to – if left untrammelled – reconfigure our world (and destroy some organisations along the way). Not a movie, but an evaluation of our evolving globe over the next 15 year and the threats – and opportunities – organisations will face.  Now a (kind of) sequel, Megatrends(2015)has been released, created by HAY, which again looks forward to 2030. What worldwide powers will we face? And, without a superhero in sight, how do we meet them?

Both PWC’s Megatrends report and HAY’s snappily titled book, Leadership 2030: The Six Megatrends You Need To Understand To Lead Your Company Into The Future anticipate a fast-changing world. Both agree on the defining forces of:

  • Globalisation
  • Technology
  • Environmental change
  • Social change (for HAY, Individualism and value pluralism)
  • Demographic change (PWC combines this with Social Change in one megatrend)

PWC chooses Rapid Urbanisation as its final megatrend whilst HAY opts for Digitisation. So far so mega. But how can organisations prepare to face shift on such a scale?

It’s all about agility. All the Megatrends authors advise that organisations will need to invest to maximise success within this new landscape. Action should include:

  • Understanding how the megatrends will change your world – Employees, Consumers, Markets, Partners, Supply chains and Technology will be different, so how will your operating environment adjust?
  • Reviewing and amending strategy – Considering the different operating environment, how will you steer your organisation to success? How will your organisation look? How will it act?
  • Building leadership  – Immediate (line) managers – not Executives – shape employee resilience and organisational understanding; but the organisational needs to foster their capabilities in readiness.
  • Running scenario planning – Strengthen your teams’ readiness for change by working through potential future scenarios and planning responses; as in sport, working through different tactical approaches builds aptitude.
  • Enhancing employee – Building a deep connection between your employees and the organisational strategy will enhance future thinking, resolve and commitment.
  • Augmenting collaboration – Provide the platform and direction for deeper relationships and greater cooperation across your organisation, overcoming past silos.

 In a shifting world, winning organisations will prepare, react and adapt better than their competitors. With the right steps today, organisations can face the megatrends with greater confidence. Not so much super-powered, as megatrend ready.

Click here to read this blog on the HR Review website.

© Tim Pointer, Starboard Thinking 2015