Inheriting a Complex World

One of my new go-to resources is the IBM’s Global CEO Study. It surveys over 1,500 global business leaders about the business and work on topics of concern and trends for the future. You can download this year’s survey here.

Last year, I was very impressed that IBM’s research included for the first time a companion study from students about their views on inheriting this complex world we’re living in.  Very cool!

This is the conversation that needs to be happening.  We need to move beyond presentations that do little more than just put generations in little boxes and start talking about where we are right now and what kind of thinking and skills we need to prosper in the future. The student study is titled “Inheriting a Complex World” and you can download it here

One of the things I found fascinating was a chart about half-way through the report that showed a comparison of what CEOs and students felt were the top three factors impacting organizations.  The percentages for technology, market, and regulatory were very similar.  There were some that were widely different – for example, globalization and environmental.  Both ranked by students as having greater impact.

Even organizations that operate primarily within a small geographic region need to realize that we are becoming borderless very quickly.  And our access to technology is accelerating the change.

Sustainability continues to be not only an important personal decision but a business decision.  Companies that embrace eco-friendly practices will be sought out by consumers as well as employees.

Managing all of these dynamics – globalization, technology, sustainability, etc. – isn’t easy.  That’s the complexity  part that everyone is talking about.  Or should be talking about.

Obviously, it’s time to take this conversation to the next level.  The real question becomes how.  My recent post over on HR Bartender about the Mindset Moment talks about how we’re each a product of our respective environments.  It seems natural that we have to use that mindset.  There’s a great opportunity to leverage our collective wisdom.  But not to convince others our mindset is right. 

We have to find a way to use our mindset as a frame of reference so we can see the mindset of others.  It will be quite a “mind” blowing exercise if you ask me.  And, it will be difficult.  But if we want to build a bridge for managing complexity, it’s the way to do it.  Are you ready?

 

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