Trends and transformations; the story of 2016

Never at our best as ‘followers’, our idea of being ‘on trend’ is to be at the very head of the curve…or the ‘Conga Line’ as our favourite simile goes for those of you who know us well. Having spent 2015 delving deep into the inner workings of some of the ‘greatest and latest’ in business – we’re in a pretty good position to throw a spot light on what’s likely to dominate hearts, minds and boardrooms in 2016.

Data science; not just for nerds!

Accessing data isn’t a problem, but understanding the vast amounts of information collected definitely is. How to extract what really matters and quickly may well become our biggest leadership challenge yet. As LBS (London Business School) point out, ‘Too much emphasis on information leads to analysis paralysis, sterile decision making and a loss of competitive differentiation.’ There may be value in big data, but it comes at a cost. Great leaders still know when to trust their intuition too.

All the young dudes

With 3.6 million baby boomers set to retire, a new generation of leaders is getting ready to take over the world. Millennials are all about transformational leadership, social engagement, rapid career progression and mentors and not bosses. Globally astute and tech-savvy, organisations will need to deliver these cultural expectations in spades if they want to hang onto the millennial talent of the future. Katherine Dugan at Strategy& sums it up nicely: ‘Millennials have an abundance of talent to offer organisations as they move through the ranks in the workforce….they have the desire to derive significant meaning from their work. Managers must play a key role in harnessing and directing that energy…’

For us the whole thing brings to mind our creative video production friends, Spindle. Radical in their approach with a conviction of purpose and creatively brilliant, they define the millennial ethos perfectly.

The evolution of flexibility

This isn’t just about the hours we work, it’s about the space we operate in too. The traditional one person, one desk scenario is fast becoming a thing of the past. Having worked on several accommodation upgrades recently, our role has been about how to make the space work culturally; collaboration, communication, bringing values to life, offering a genuinely new way of working across organisations – all of these and more apply. Within the next 6 years the London College of Fashion will have moved to Stratford. Currently working across 6 separate sites the College will be working as one under the same roof. Beyond how they work and communicate differently they’re also thinking about the implications this has on teaching – what will today’s 14 year olds want and expect from Universities in the future? Evolutionary thinking at its most daring, don’t you think?