Britain in business: the world of work in 2018
13 March 2008 – A -world under cyber attack, the United States withdrawing from the world economy and employee behaviour controlled by implanted micro-chips are all possible scenarios for business in 2018, according to a study published today.
Called ‘Management Futures’, the study identifies 17 possible scenarios* facing UK organisations in the next decade. It analyses current trends, past experience and the views of economists, an academic and business leaders to predict what the world of work will look like in 2018.
Combined with a survey of over 1,000 senior executives, the study will be used to help business leaders understand what needs to be done, today, to prepare for tomorrow.
The findings imply that holograms, robots and ‘intelligent’ computers all have a role to play in the UK’s future business landscape. However, CEOs will be more concerned by changes to current business models, trade blocs and the UK’s ability to compete on a global scale. Some key predictions include:
- business markets: trade blocs, within and across markets, will experience more competition and conflict. According to the executives surveyed, global corporations will exert more influence than governments (66 per cent) and surveillance of work will increase on all levels (93 per cent). The data also suggests that the marketplace will be heavily influenced by new players from Brazil, Russia, India and China
- supply and demand: business models will change their nature, becoming more open to external influences. Two-thirds (63 per cent) suggest customer participation in business decisions will increase. 62 per cent predict that environmental concerns and regulation will create products with longer lifecycles
- business structures: organisations will alter in character, reflecting changes in society. For example, 63 per cent believe ‘teams will be more multi-generational’, and 42 per cent say ‘increased numbers of senior women will have changed management styles’
- 17 scenarios: predictions range from terrorists attacking the internet, bringing work to a halt, through to a world dominated by digitally controlled employees. With this in mind, the study calls for a focus on ‘intellectual property banks’ to balance requirements for openness with business protection and argues that ‘brain enhancement technology’ must be monitored to avoid misuse
- virtual reality: only a small proportion think that holograms (31 per cent), robots (27 per cent) or implanted bio-chips (12 per cent) will be used to drive business efficiency. However 74 per cent argue that ‘virtual businesses’ will be commonplace and 87 per cent say the nature of work in 2018 will lead to increased ‘virtual contact’
- projected skills need: organisations will still need many of the skills required today, but the ability to drive change will be prized. The research shows that 75 per cent believe project management skills will be necessary for all, with 63 per cent agreeing that ‘innovation and creativity will be key to most tasks’
- home is where the heart (of business) is: the study predicts that the ‘work needs’ of employees will change as they operate across wider geographical areas. 65 per cent expect working from home will be commonplace to reduce the carbon footprint. 73 per cent suggest work-life balance will be the key to job choice
Mary Chapman, chief executive, at the Chartered Management Institute, says: “Looking ahead ten years, it is clear that the successful organisations will be those who can do more than embrace change – they will anticipate, identify and drive it. Of course we cannot determine the future, but that does not mean we shouldn’t forecast and prepare for it to ensure that organisations and teams are effective, capable and competitive.”
The report goes on to identify ‘humanness’ as a key factor for future organisational success. It suggests that positions and job titles might be removed if they hinder collaboration.
Looking at the ‘private needs of people’ the study also shows that changing demographics will compel organisations to offer more tailored lifestyle benefits to employees.
Chapman adds: “A greater degree of emotional intelligence will be required by managers and leaders so they can understand how people work and their likely reaction to change. They will also need to shift from today’s input-driven approach to a focus on output, achievement and a better integration between work and personal lives.”
An executive summary is available by clicking here.
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Mike Petrook /Julia Brook, Institute Press Office
Tel: 020 7497 0496; outside office hours: 07931 302 877
NOTES TO EDITORS
* Details of the 17 possible scenarios are available from the Chartered Management Institute press office. They include ‘the world in environmental catastrophe’, ‘a world redefined’ and ‘the shrinking world’ All scenarios are accompanied by the implication they bring for business.
Representing 73,000 individual managers and 450 corporate members, the Chartered Management Institute is the only chartered professional body dedicated to management and leadership. The Institute supports individual members with practical guidance on the issues that affect managers in their day-to-day working lives and, as the guardians of national standards for management and leadership, it is also in a unique position to work with employers to identify and develop the necessary management and leadership skills that drive performance in the UK and internationally. Through its research and policy programme, the Institute also analyses and shapes the issues that matter to employers and individuals, using its knowledge in open communications with key policy makers and government departments responsible for skills development. The Chartered Management Institute came into being on 1 April 2002, as a result of the Institute of Management being granted a Royal Charter.
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