The changing trends in the coming year will have a huge effect on the way business is viewed and conducted. An upcoming trend in this arena is Individualization. People are becoming individuals in all aspects. Be it customers, employees, citizens, everyone has a compelling view of their life and persona, gone are the days when people would go by what parents, societies or leaders said or did. They are exposed to so much information, which is so easily accessible, that they have a mind of their own and will chart their own paths. They are open to new ideas and willing to take risks and they have no fear of failure because nothing is cast in stone for them. The world begins and ends with them in their mind. Sometimes, it borders selfishness of an order that mankind has not seen before, but, they are also more inclusive because they do not fear the other person. Corporations, leaders, societies and educational systems are all undergoing radical shifts to accommodate this need in people and hence the focus on the individual.
In order to cater to this generation, out-of-the-box solutions have to be devised. We will continue to focus on the world becoming a unified place. With the help of digitalization, barriers being broken and increased flow of traffic, both physical and through communication, the world will continue to become a global village. But, while the origins were from the west to east, the trends will see a shift in power base from west to east and hence, the need for more accommodation and diversity. While scarcity of resources will continue to drive people to compete, in order to capture new markets, which will grow in the future (South East Asia, Africa, South America, India, China); people will require skills from both west and east. Hence, collaborative efforts will be on the rise. Arab Spring and other such revolutions will throw up new challenges, but they will also open up new opportunities. What we can clearly see is that inclusiveness is the need of the hour at present.
In the past year, free markets had a roll and aided by greed, madness and weak leadership, we floundered. But now the time for balance has arrived and more regulation in the capital markets is a vital requirement. While the models can span the spectrum, we will see more and more controls coming in not only from governments, but from corporations and individuals who will demand that there be more transparency and cleanliness in doing business. Leaders will be forced to become more accountable and this ‘fooling of all the people all the time’ will be curtailed. Responsibility will set in and we will see balanced business models. People have tasted blood and the sense of justice with the revolutions in Arab Spring and this will have a huge effect on corporations worldwide. More and more checks will also come in on the environmental and social issues.