Here’s an age-old truism that affects every aspect of life: ‘the only constant is change’. And with 2015 in the books, there are certain trends that will be more apparent than others in this New Year. The following are some predictions for 2016 according to 6 business leaders:
1. More attention towards innovation
According to Dan Lee, the director of smart desk manufacturer ‘NextDesk’, companies will be looking to change to change the way they operate in order to survive. Dan argues that innovation is transforming the business landscape and organisations that have kept a slow pace risk extinction in a few years if they do not transmute. Companies that focus on the latest innovations will lead their industries.
2. Tech companies will largely influence the economy
Sheeroy Desai, the CEO and co-founder of ‘Gilead’ expects a tech bubble in 2016 as the tech economy continues to expand radically, with more exits and an equally large number of mergers and acquisitions and IPOs.
3. More female founders
According to Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO of ‘Ellevest’ – investment resource provider for women – there should be a greater number of female entrepreneurs in 2016, regardless of their age. Sallie argues that women are no longer satisfied with just one or two seats at the corporate table, and more are looking to run their own businesses.
4. Honest brand marketing
The CMO for ‘Sbarro’, a fast food restaurant, identifies a shift in brand marketing, from creative liberties to business transparency. Anne Pritz claims that consumers are demanding honesty in all advertising and marketing efforts, and are more likely to trust brands that are truthful and factual. So, businesses that integrate facts into their marketing strategies, communicate with their audience openly, and facilitate real-time communication will have an advantage in their respective industries.
5. Corporate transparency
As with the point above, Avinoam Nowogrodski, CEO of project management software ‘Clarizen’ notes that large enterprises are beginning to reconsider transparency, and expects more corporations to change their leadership style from a ‘command and control’ approach to a ‘sense and respond’ approach that emphasises in-text collaboration and workplace transparency, as information is shared among all employees rather than being limited to specific individuals.
6. More meaningful mobile content
The Executive Director, Communication and Marketing, University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Juliet Daum, recognises the widespread use of mobile technology, with an increasing number of smartphones users, as the use of tablets, and wearable devices to seek information, share ideas, and get things done – usually on the go. In this regard, Juliet claims that brands that succeed in capturing the attention and trust of users by delivering meaningful content, at the right time, and in the right dose will excel in 2016.
Not everything in 2016 will be entirely new as some new trends in the last couple of years are likely to appeal to more and more people in business. For instance, recruitment agencies may focus more on skills-based assessments rather than educational signals in their assessments for job candidate readiness (as was the case in 2015 with accounting firms like Deloitte and Ernst & Young), while professionals may prefer to work on freelance jobs rather than full-time employment as they seek flexibility and more control over their lives.