January 2020; not only a new year but also the beginning of a new decade. I predict this year and the years following in this decade are going to be full of amazing changes in all areas including global politics, the environment, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to name a few.
The workplace is another area I predict will continue to see continued change. It won’t be unsurprising to find more office and workplace restructuring, increased emphasis on self-paced digital learning, the rise of a new generation of informal leaders like Greta Thunberg, and additional focus on change enablement instead of change management.
In my blog change management is dead, long live change enablement I speak about how we need to shift how we “manage” change, that it isn’t something to be managed but rather something we all need to enable in ourselves and in our team members.
So, what are the three top changes coming in 2020 and this decade?
AI, specifically Machine Learning, will see significant advances over the next year and over the decade. We already rely on machine learning for all sorts of things such as the responses we receive from Alexa or Google Home, the shows that Netflix suggests to us, and even those amazing albeit creepy ads and recommendations we all receive from Google, Instagram, and Facebook. But Machine Learning is increasingly being used and even excelling in customer service. For instance, chatbots are becoming more interactive, and are providing a more “human” experience. I personally have had amazing interactions with computerized customer service assistants when making hotel reservation changes with a leading global hotel chain. I also recently received a suggested caption for a photo that was uploaded to Google photos, where the recommended text read “A baby sleeping wearing a shirt with cats”. This kind of blew my mind because the picture was indeed a baby who was sleeping and wearing an outfit that had cats on it. These are only a few examples of how Machine Learning is already impacting our lives and areas where we will continue to see (or not see) changes and improvements.
Self-paced digital learning has also been on the rise. I do believe there will continue to be a need for in-person or classroom training, but it will be the exception or used for very special circumstances. Digitally enabled and e-learning saw a rise over the past six years but it is this decade when we will see it become the primary mode of learning. As workforces are becoming more distributed and the desire for on-demand learning increases, we will see more and more digitally enabled learning. I further predict that peer-to-peer user-generated content (UGC), like those found in enterprise social networking websites such as Yammer, will make a serious advance in the corporate workplace.
Interested in learning more? Check out this video on Change Management which is a great example of digital learning.
Lastly, with change being the new normal - the status quo - individuals, leaders and organizations will shift how these changes are experienced. Gone are the days of merely managing the impact of the change. People need more. They demand more. They deserve more. Change enablement is the future. We manage things, but people can only change when they are enabled, and enablement can be learned and normalized.
Change is happening rapidly, and we need to keep up. Whether on a personal or professional level we all have a choice to be prepared, aware and enabled.
Now that I’ve shared my top three changes for the next year and the coming decade, I’d love to hear more about your predictions. Share them with us here.