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Things businesses should think about

From The Observer (Sarnia), Jan 17/2003 — they picked up on my “predictions for the future article:” “1. The return of the future – for some: We will see a big disconnect between organizations, as some charge ahead, while their competition remains mired in the mud of their inaction, and the economic impacts of the last few year’s.

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Jim Carroll lives five, 10, even 20 years into the future. A leading strategic futurist by trade, Carroll has provided 10 predictions of what every businessperson needs to be thinking about in 2003 and beyond.

“1. The return of the future – for some: We will see a big disconnect between organizations, as some charge ahead, while their competition remains mired in the mud of their inaction, and the economic impacts of the last few year#s.

2. The skills exodus: As baby boomers retire, companies must aggressively pursue knowledge transfer and retention to succeed.

3. Generational dysfunction: The first generation of kids to be nurtured on technology from birth are now of an age that allows them to become active politicians. Smart organizations must understand the political and moral views and perspectives of this generation in order to thrive.

4. Time shifting: Organizations will have to deal with an increase in altered work days due to a greater demand for work/life balance, and the cultural challenges presented.

5. “Normal” is “quaint“: There is no such thing as normal anymore. To deal with the unexpected, companies must plan for multiple scenarios with multiple contingency plans.

6. Hyperconnectivity and uber-computing: Organizations will be able to monitor and control from afar any aspect of their infrastructure. This trend will cause dramatic change, and present unprecedented opportunity for manufacturers and others.

7. Collaborative community control: Organizations that take the time to learn from online communities will discover how their markets, industry and future will evolve through the next five to 10 years.

8. Innovation driven by hyperfeedback: The evolution of knowledge is occurring at an unprecedented pace. By learning to plug into hyperfeedback networks, organizations can prepare for future developments, before these developments come to surprise them.

9. Aggressive indecision – decide later, not now! Uncertainty has created massive indecision for companies, leading to last minute, instant decisions. Organizations must shift their culture to deal with this future in which “just in time decision making” will be the rule.

10. Transaction re-engineering: Organizations will aggressively streamline business transactions to the extent that they cause sweeping job and career change. As a result, managing the cultural aspects of workplace change will be an important focus.”

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