The world in 2018

April 12, 2008 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Chartered Management Institute has just released a new report called Management Futures: The World in 2018 (March 2008). It looks at what the world of work and management will be like in 2018. Another 10 years, not long really. And it asks what we need to get managers and leaders doing now to enable business leaders to deal with tomorrow.

A number of scenarios are outlined. The Probable Future:

  • Brazil, Russia, India and China (the so-called BRIC nations) will have transformed the business landscape
  • virtual community-based organisations will be prevalent
  • KM will be alive and kicking because organisations will need to know what it is they should know
  • emotional and spiritual intelligence will be big as companies grapple with a diverse workforce who need stimulation and creative outlets
  • work-life balance will no longer be uttered. It will be work-life integration
  • organisations will face the growing power of the employee and offer personalised working patterns

Sounds good so far. Then there’s the Unexpected Future:

  • 16 potentially unforeseen events and developments are identified ranging from cyber-attacks to the world being run by robots
  • to meet unforeseen events there needs to be multiple back-ups for intellectual property and a knowledge bank on the use and misuse of enhancement technologies and the use of robots for basic management practice

Then there’s the Desired Future, which took all plausible scenarios into account:

  • more organisations will be wholly virtual
  • organisations that remain physical entities will be run by managers who create a sense of control and calm (mmmmm… a few fiery bosses I’ve known should think about resurrecting themselves in 2018 )
  • collaboration and political skills will be necessary

There’s a lot more detail in the report, which you can read here. Thx to Dora, one of my students at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, for alerting me to this report.

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Entry filed under: Future trends, Knowledge Management, Scenarios, Useful resources.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. John James O'Brien  |  April 20, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Interesting read! In cogitating (which I do a lot, often in simultaneous conversation) I ponder something that has been on my mind for several years. That is, when gurus of one sort project a vision of the future, whose future is it? Whose management? Whose referred cultural norms? Whose vision of change?

    This particular study is interesting in that inclusion of Brazil, Russia, India and China in the same grouping juxtaposes very different cultures. One more BRIC in the wall?

    Enough with the questions, here’s a (developing) position. After some six years in Asia I may be over sensitive to considerations of western versus eastern models. It hasn’t served particularly well–too much appreciation of the challenge from a westerner seems almost suspect. That’s been an interesting lesson and insight into cultural difference in itself! I am coming to think, however, that there are universalities–and that some of this east >< west stuff is really the familiar resistance to change and, quite legitimate, fear of domination by foreign ideologies ahead of a similar development on home turf. That last point bears repeating–ahead of similar development on home turf.

    The key to a happier future may be to build a bridge between generations, as much as culture. One guys thoughts…I might just blog on this myself 😉

    Reply

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