The TIDES of Change: Five disruptive forces shaping the world right now

The recent financial crisis has been more than just an economic downturn. Major shifts are taking place in almost every industry around the world as new rules for success and failure are written. To be successful in these turbulent times, it is vital for organisations and individuals alike to understand the forces that are shaping the near future. Uncertainty is causing paralysis in many industries, and the antidote is not a crystal ball or bravado. Rather, it is the quiet confidence that can come with understanding the ebb and flow of key defining forces in the world outside your immediate industry.

The research being conducted by the Strategic Insights research team at TomorrowToday highlights five forces that will disrupt industries in the next decade.

These are:

Technology – recent advances in computing power, and a new generation of ‘digital natives’ have accelerated us into a true digital age. How we process information is undergoing radical changes that will impact every industry and function. Companies and their leaders are being left behind as they struggle to give up the illusion of control and embrace new technologies.

Institutional change – structural changes are affecting every industry and sector, from regulatory and globalised change all the way down to shifts in the engagement of individuals.

Demographics – ageing populations, falling fertility, generational divides, migration, the rising power of cities and long term youth underemployment are all critical, long-time and irreversible trends that will change how society operates. We have hardly begun to realise the implications of demographic shifts on our companies.

Environment and Ethics – it is vitally important for almost every company to consider and anticipate the effects of both physical changes to the planet and its resources, as well as the political and social responses to these hot issues

Social values – if the four forces above do change the world, then it must be obvious that what people consider to be normal and their expectations and desires will change. We have already been living through three decades of significant social change, and much more is yet to come. Social unrest is likely to be a key short-term consequence.

The most successful companies in the next few years will be those that find ways to be strategically responsive. To do this, it is important that everyone – at every level of the organisation – has an understanding of the forces that will be shaping the next decade. Only then can they contribute meaningfully to your company’s success. You can develop these insights through regular analysis of your environment, strategic conversations throughout your organisation with all of your people, and helping each of them discover their personal role in achieving the company’s strategy. Their understanding of the strategic landscape is essential for problem solving, creativity, innovation and the proactive identification of opportunities and threats in your industry and market.

As a workshop, this programme includes well researched insights into the near future, packaged together with key trends, relevant and interesting facts, case studies and multi-media clips, and lots of opportunity for discussion. This session will provide the context necessary for you to set a strategic agenda that will ensure your success in the next decade. It has application for your organisation, your department and your personal career development.

It is a guaranteed paradigm shaker and conversation starter as you and your team develop your strategies. The content challenges commonly held assumptions about business and how the world works. Consequently, it invites strategic insights, understanding and discussion, and is laced with a practicality and a gently rebuking humour that makes it immediately applicable and keeps participants thoroughly engaged throughout.

Business Outcomes

By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Understand the five key drivers of disruptive change, and how these will impact their industry and their function within their company
  • See clearly that this recession has not just been an economic downturn, but is a key change point in many of the rules for success in their industry
  • Be motivated to think and act strategically
  • Be inspired to think creatively about the future of their company and their department
  • Know where competitive advantage is to be found in the next 3-5 years
  • Be able to use the “TIDES of Change” model with their own teams to build ongoing “horizon scanning” and “scenario development” capabilities into their own teams.

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