The year 2020 sounds like something out a futuristic science fiction movie, but it is just five years away. As technology continues to accelerate change and life as we know it, what can you identify that is true today that will disappear in five years? How do you balance the focus of your team's energy on building the business as well as anticipating and preparing for the future while delivering against current priorities?

As you update your plans, vision, and goals, bear in mind these five workplace predictions. I originally shared these back in 2013 when I spoke at Watermarks Innovation Conference at Ericsson's Headquarters. They are as true today as they were then.

Here are five top trends for the future that will impact your growth that you need to embrace today:

  1. Don't Restrict Yourself-Hire Where the Talent Is

Israel is now dubbed the world's new Silicon Valley after the $1B acquisition of WAZE and the announcement that Amazon is planning an R&D facility there. Although managing multiple locations requires a particular set of leadership skills, it is a common mistake to restrict growth by focusing on only one location. I've seen companies shut down offices five miles away from each other because they find it too hard to do business that way; unfortunately that is usually not a correct diagnosis of the problem, it is the easy way out. Find out where the talent is, and hire there, not necessarily in your own backyard. How much growth do you anticipate by 2020? Is it easy to attract the very best where you currently are located or do you need to consider other locations?

  1. Speak to My Agent

Top talent will have its own PR agency, brand, and portfolio by 2020. An individual's online presence will turn into a portfolio of work, opinions, and thought leadership, which may mask capability and credibility. Executives and experts will have Ted talks, articles, speeches, and blogs-all curated to build their brand image. Clever and catchy will be the new normal. Are your hiring managers and recruiters prepared for how to use this wealth of information? Are you helping them build new skills to cut through the shine and spin to assess this online presence as part of prequalifying candidates?

  1. More Teenage Entrepreneurs

Barriers to accessing funds and customers will continue to drop. Crowd funding and student competitions will create an explosion of teenagers launching successful businesses. Help teenagers by creating opportunities for them to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, and in doing so you will help your own business. Who can you mentor today? You can learn more ideas here about how your business can embrace the coming explosion of teenage entrepreneurs.

  1. Communicate like Banksy

Information overload will continue, and already research shows that you have just eight seconds to grab attention. You will need to innovate to get the attention of your customers and employees. British street artist Banksy launched a month-long residency on the streets of New York. He revealed a new installation every day, a treasure hunt accompanied by a museum-style audio guide you could reach by calling a telephone number. It was attention grabbing, impactful, and innovative. Never stop thinking about how you talk to your customers and employees. Learn more leadership lessons from Banksy here.

  1. Silence Will be Powerful

With half a billion wearable tech devices by 2018, silence will be crucial. Just imagine a world in which glasses, watches, bracelets, handbags, and umbrellas will be talking to you-providing both useful and useless information. In such a world there will be one certainty: leaders who can create silence and space for reflection for their teams to explore and innovate will get ahead faster. Are you helping your leaders escape the noise or are you adding to it? How can you create quiet space for thinking and reflection so your team can prepare for 2020? Learn tips for creating silence here.

No Time to Lose

The average tenure of CEOs is currently three years, and I expect that to quickly diminish as boards and investors become increasingly impatient. Rapid growth, unexpected competition, and volatility will continue to be the new norm. There is no time to lose. How can you rapidly embrace these new trends today?

Published on: Mar 31, 2015