Today was a big day. On October 29, 1969, the Internet was born. That’s the day that ARPANET created the first host-to-host connection and transmitted a message between two computers at UCLA.
As I'm working through my production schedule for these videos and the book, I'm trying to set the framework for what kinds of problems we've had in the past and what we might face in the future. I don't necessarily predict the future, but looking at certain trends provides some foresight.
Tomorrow’s Problems and Challenges of the future
Productivity, Profitability, and Professionalism
How do we improve Productivity in all types of work systems? I think we will need to continue to improve productivity to stay competitive. In many cases, we will have fewer resources available so we will have to figure out how to get more work done by each without burning people out or asking them simply to work longer and harder.
How will we increase Profitability as resources become scarcer or more expensive? If we can't maintain profitability, we can't stay in business. This is intimately linked to the productivity question, but will also force us to understand markets, pricing, and staying attuned to customers demands.
How can we attract, assimilate, and retain a professional workforce? This may be the toughest challenge we'll face. We already believe there is a significant gap in the available talent we need in many workplaces.
Balance and wellness. I believe that services for balance and wellness at work will be critical to maintaining our ability to improve productivity, profitability, and professionalism. I think it will be important that we find affordable ways to look after the needs of all employees, but especially key leaders in stressful roles.
Global leadership – Leading people across a spectrum of vastly different cultures will tax the ability of leaders.
Diverging mindsets – will we be able to lead people with polarized mindsets toward a common objective?
Greed - Can we find ways to avoid promoting only incentive-based structures for motivating employees reducing greed across senior leadership?
Hate - Can we find ways to promote a mutually respectful environment to get people from diverse cultural backgrounds to work together, overcoming centuries of hate?
Another huge problem is our human tendency to jump to and act on a solution or conclusion - this problem points to the importance of finding ways of developing processes to resolve prospective or existing problems in the organization.
Technology – Technological interventions that help create an engaging environment in the workplace.
Talent – Diverse talent – hiring individuals that add value to the organization rather than fill empty spaces.
I'm certain there will be things that can't anticipate that will tax our abilities. I want to work to discover the best ways to prepare for this. What we do now really matters.
I teach people how to think, not simply how to solve problems. My hope is that better thinking will help us respond better to whatever comes our way.
Have a great day and I'll see you tomorrow.