It’s that time of year again, when we look to the future and predict which high-impact trends will shape the business landscape in the coming year. So, from Generative AI to leveraging the data economy, let’s dive into some of the most important trends you can expect to impact your business in 2024.
1. Generative AI
We can't have a conversation about the future of business without addressing Generative AI. We’ve already seen major industry disruption from this technology, but you better believe there are more innovations to come, sending even wider ripples through the marketplace. And while many jobs look like they might soon be eliminated – an article from The Harvard Business Review names programmers, certain types of lawyers, and management consultants – a recent study conducted by the International Labour Organization has indicated that AI is more likely to enhance job roles than eliminate them.
Your goal moving into 2024, then, should be to investigate all the ways Generative AI can augment and support roles in your organization. While some companies are concerned about data privacy when it comes to AI, there are ways you can incorporate Generative AI without compromising your IP addresses or other confidential differentiators. Figure out how AI can help your team increase their speed, productivity, and efficiency before your competitors do.
2. Skills Shift & Solutions
A skills shortage has been one of 2023’s many themes in the business landscape. HBR’s recent interview with Cathy Benko, a vice chairman at Deloitte, said, “We’re in the middle of a ‘skills shift.’ A mere 20% of today’s workforce has the skills needed for 60% of the jobs that will be coming online within the next five to ten years.” And while many companies look to the external job market for more skilled workers, focusing on specific experiences and certifications than traditional qualifications, other companies are recognizing that the more efficient (and ethical) solution is to strategically upskill the employees they already have.
Wondering how to follow their lead? Look to the horizon and ask yourself what new technologies, services, and products your organization is going to need to embrace in order to stay competitive, then examine the related roles. What skills will best serve the organization? Do the employees in these roles have them? If not, prioritize education.
3. Digital Marketing & Content Creation
Through the various stages of digital evolution, the reigning currency of influence has always been content (Don’t believe us? See Bill Gates’ 1996 essay “Content is King”). The more content you create as a business, the more you can leverage that content for increased attention (and as a result, sales). With the $250 billion influencer economy expected to reach half a trillion dollars by 2027, if you haven’t taken content marketing seriously up to this point, it’s time to do so.
But don’t just create online content for its own sake; businesses should focus on creating valuable content their customers and prospects can actually use. Additionally, they should strategically engage with customers through social media platforms and prioritize SEO strategies to improve their online visibility. In 2024, compelling content is no longer an option — it’s a necessity.
4. The Data Economy
The buying and selling of data has become an important aspect of doing business across industries. According to a Forbes article, more companies are using customer data to help streamline their operations and improve their customer offerings. But the next step? Selling that data back to the customer. Companies like John Deere have pioneered the model of selling data from its farm equipment back to farmers as insights to improve productivity.
If you want to stay ahead of the curve on this, examine your current customer offerings. What data are you currently tracking, and how can you leverage this information in a way that benefits your customer? What reasons might they want access to that data? (As John Deere demonstrates, selling data this way is especially useful in B2B markets.)
5. A New View of the Workplace
From the global pandemic giving rise to the remote work model, to the gig economy creating a wave of independent contractors across industries, to an emphasis on individual health and wellbeing transforming worker’s expectations of what is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace. The way we view work has been forever changed. Business owners who resist these changes often use the worn out phrase, “No one wants to work anymore,” but it isn’t true. The truth is, no one wants to sacrifice their freedom for a job that is unfulfilling and unrewarding. No one wants their mental health damaged by toxic work environments. Most importantly, no one wants to work for companies that refuse to acknowledge the very valid cultural shifts that define this new generation of workers.
In 2024, it’s going to be critical that employers understand that working people value meaning, freedom, health, and ethics more than ever before. If you want to keep your employees for the long-term, it’s key that you communicate with them and solicit feedback to help you strengthen your organization’s weak points and increase employee satisfaction. This may look like, sharing your vision, plans, and values clearly; improving your company’s sustainability practices; bolstering your employee benefits; implementing more flexibility in your work model, or addressing internal leadership issues that have been causing friction.
In 2024, one thing is certain — change will happen more rapidly than ever. To stay ahead, keep your ear to the ground and your finger on the pulse of society, your customers, and your employees. Investigate new technologies as they arise, and pay attention to new cultural shifts that come from world events. Staying informed will enable you and your organization to succeed under any circumstances.
Be Prepared For Anything
Trends may come and go, but if you stay flexible and adaptable to change, your business can thrive in any environment. The Resultants can help you fortify your organization by improving the internal structure and implementing a unique business operating system (BOS) that can withstand even the most disruptive of changes. Shoot me an email and let’s chat about how we can prepare your organization for success in the new year.