Time for some crystal ball gazing

Oct 03 2008 by Nic Paton Print This Article

With the financial world lurching from crisis to crisis on an almost daily basis, thinking about what the business landscape will look like in a decade's time may seem like an impossible luxury.

But it is something worth considering, according to the UK-think-tank The Chartered Management Institute, because in all likelihood the business world will be very different, in fact unrecognisable, from now, and only those businesses that have prepared and planned ahead properly will benefit.

According to the snapshot poll by the CMI, nearly two thirds of managers believe that, by 2018, teams will have become increasingly multi-generational.

Similarly, a continuing increase in the number of women in senior executive positions will have changed management styles, predicted more than four out of 10 of those surveyed.

The whole structure of business models will have also changed by 2018, the managers forecast, with businesses in a wired, globalised world, becoming much more open to external influences.

Two-thirds felt customer participation in business decisions would increase, with more than six out of 10 predicting that environmental concerns and regulation would create products with longer lifecycles.

Jo Causon, the CMI's director of marketing and corporate affairs, said the arrival of Generation Y, or those born since 1980, into the workplace in substantial numbers would be one of the key changes that managers would see in the coming years.

"How we live and work today and in the future will be very different. Education, the needs and wants of Generation Y and the growing influence of emerging nations are all contributing to a changing workplace and it's something that we must be ready for if UK plc is to survive and thrive," she argued.

Last month, consultancy KPMG also predicted that the coming decades would see wholesale population shifts, with a global migration of workers from developing and emerging nations to the West.