How to Adapt to New Trends in Business, TechnologyJanuary 22, 2024

January 22, 2024

How to Adapt to New Trends in Business, Technology

Col3-Steinberg,Scott-110x140Hailed as the world’s leading business strategist, award-winning expert witness, strategic consultant and professional speaker Scott Steinberg is among today’s best-known trends experts and futurists, and the bestselling author of “Think Like a Futurist;” “Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty” and “Fast >> Forward: How to Turbo-Charge Business, Sales, and Career Growth.” The president and CEO of BIZDEV: The International Association for Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, his website is

It’s no secret that in a fast-changing business world, as both MICE industry leaders and meeting and event planners, we’ve got to stay on top of changes that are happening in the industry. At the same time, when it comes to future-proofing our organizations, it’s also important to strive to better understand and stay on top of what challenges and opportunities our staffers are facing on an ongoing basis. Then, steadily work to equip them with more insight, information and chances to come together to address them at every turn.

As challenging as adapting to a multitude of new shifts that we’re facing on all fronts may seem at first blush though, as a futurist and management consultant, I often remind audiences that adapting to an uncertain future doesn’t have to be as time-consuming, difficult or costly as you may think. Rather, it simply requires us to ask smarter questions — and apply a little bit more critical thinking.

For example, we often hear about topics like artificial intelligence (AI), automation and machine learning. But in addition to understanding what this technology does and who can provide it, it’s even more important as an executive leader to understand how we can effectively implement these tools in our organization, where they’re best applied, and why we’d want to make these investments.

Thankfully, as we note in recent board game The Future is Yours (which teaches players how to scenario plan and more effectively strategize for the future), as fast as the future is now coming on, the road ahead in business is not all that hard to predict when you simply take a few moments to project your thoughts forward and think a few steps ahead.

Noting this, it helps to ask some pointed questions that can shape your future thinking. As we look to the next few years of business, a few points that you might consider here, for example, could include as follows:

  • Artificial intelligence and automation are real, they’re here, and they’ll only play a growing role in the future. In fact, like water and gas, you may soon be able to turn them on and off as needed like any other utility. Noting this: How might these developments impact the shape of strategic planning, research, services, back-office management, workflows and more going forward?
  • In a world of growing remote work and distance collaboration, where schedules, working setups and work hours will differ by individual, it will only become more challenging to secure time on others’ schedules and build meaningful relationships with them. What will this mean for the way that you manage relationships with key customers, vendors and partners going forward — and how might it impact the practice of event management?
  • Working professionals are increasingly distracted, and it’s becoming harder to capture and hold their attention, creating heightened demand for all things new and novel — thus rendering anything nondescript or undifferentiated easily overlooked or skippable. What will this mean for the shape of your training, professional development and continuing education efforts in coming months and years?
  • Employees are increasingly putting a dual-pronged, heightened emphasis on (1) work-life balance and (2) learning, growth, mentorship and career advancement. In which ways are you redesigning your working models, working setups and HR policies and programs to accommodate these changing priorities?
  • We’re drowning in data: Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of which is produced every day, even as we’re all being pulled in more directions, the pace of change is accelerating, and the next 10 years may bring more change than the prior 10,000 — not to mention being asked to make more decisions faster than ever. How are you working to get your employees more actionable information and in a faster and more user-friendly format at every turn?

Likewise, some types of additional questions that these trends will raise for meeting and event pros in coming years that are worth considering as you shape your future thinking can be found below as well:

  • Which workday tasks will be performed by humans, machines or both in coming years?
  • How will automation, artificial intelligence and digital transformation technologies change the fundamental nature of the work that you do?
  • What skills, resources and capabilities will you need to cultivate internally (and help partners cultivate externally) in the future to drive continuing organizational growth — and how well do your current workforce capabilities map to them?
  • What more flexible and elastic plans can you put in place for managing remote, hybrid and on-site workforces, especially as you view these topics through various lenses ranging from productivity to health/safety and employee engagement?
  • Do you have the technology and operating infrastructure in place that’s needed to effectively help your staff and partners collaborate, work and remain productive under any circumstances — and rapidly adapt to sudden or pronounced shifts in your environment?
  • How are you helping employees cultivate new learning, connections and insights at every turn — and how can you help continuously create tangible and visible pathways to future opportunities for them going forward?

As you can see, just by taking a few moments out of your busy day to consider helpful queries such as these, not only can you more actively and productively plan for the future. You can also often discover tangible action steps that you can be taking to better prepare to greet tomorrow’s challenges today.

Put simply: You don’t need a crystal ball or superhuman powers to predict what’s coming next. Rather, you just need to purposefully ask yourself more pointed questions, and devote more time on your schedule to strategizing a few steps ahead. The future becomes far easier to adapt to when you simply take a few moments out in advance to plan for tomorrow today. C&IT

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