The future does not belong to the geniuses. According to Warren Buffet, an idiot with a plan can beat a genius without a plan. It is no wander that the forces of life and luck usually gang up in favor of the man with a plan to remain relevant.
Not more than 50% of the top companies in the world today will remain or define the next decade. This lesson was evident at the beginning of 2010. This is indicative of the kind of rapid change we are bound to witness in the next 10 years.
How prepared can one be for the age of creativity? Are my training goals preparing me for a world that is slowly fading away, or are they positioning me to ride the coming waves of innovation.
For individuals, staying relevant will also be a big challenge as the skills being demanded in the world and the workplace are changing at a rapid rate, with differences across different countries and continents. Not only are the skills changing, but the combination of skills required to stay relevant in various fields of study and professions is also changing. Several highly skilled workers are about to lose their pay-checks to a highly mobile and agile workforce. What may have succeeded in the past may not likely succeed tomorrow.
Staying sensitive to changes in consumer attitudes and how technology is redefining the world landscape will be very important if we must stay up to speed. Are you making plans and changes that reflect this consciousness or are you simply basking in the euphoria of your last career/academic achievement?
Here are a few thoughts on how to stay relevant in this age of rapid creativity:
1. Do you have a phone, and do you use it for other things apart from making phone calls? Do you have and use applications that enable you achieve simple tasks like health goals, making payments, mobility, intelligence gathering, meetings, decision making and notifications. Not using one of such smart devices today can keep you outside the space of innovation.
2. The behavior of millennials today is shaping how organizations are offering their services in a more inclusive fashion. The power balance is shifting to the middle and will certainly make women more formidable contributors to the future of our world. They will bring some stability and uniqueness as their influence continues to grow. This presents an opportunity to young women to be strong, assertive, come to the front row, occupy space and above all make impact. It is also a call to the rest of us to learn how to ride this wave for positive impact.
3. Another important trend to pay close attention to is the acquisition of skill. The question will become more and more, what can you do? Those with demonstrable skills, aptitudes and problem-solving attitudes will trump others. This is because there will be too many college graduates with very little skills to show for it. What skills have you planned to build in 2020. They could be so vital to your positioning and relevance in this decade.
4. What has your digital footprint said about you and your brand in the last few years. This may affect you in the coming years when you apply for high profile job or choose to run/serve in a public office. What may have been said in different context and time may suddenly become unacceptable in another era, and things that were taboos may become socially acceptable norms and practices. What you vehemently criticized yesterday may hunt you tomorrow. Don’t be careless about your online profile and footprint.
5. Internet Security will continue to be a big thing in 2020 and beyond. Identity and data theft will be things to watch out for and you cannot afford to be a victim. You are likely to have about fifty Passwords for different applications and systems you log into regularly. This can be a big risk and leaves the average person very vulnerable. Learning to protect your online identity will be a task one must take very seriously as there will be increasing laws and consequences for the careless and offenders.
The negative effects of technology on social skills of the millennials will become more and more pronounced in the years to come. A recent study by Microsoft Corporation has found that digital lifestyle has made it difficult to stay focused, with the human attention span shortening from 12 seconds to eight seconds in more than a decade. Human attention span is smaller due to the growing presence of technology gadgets. The desire to be constantly connected can compromise attention spans in exchange for being better multi-taskers. This seemingly negative trend will certainly create opportunities for those who deliberately build skills around etiquette, face-to-face conversation, eye contact, and storytelling.
The concept of space for office, home, and school will continue to merge and the lines will continue to blur out, with more people willing to stay indoors to achieve all three. This invariably creates opportunity for delivery companies and a lot of other service companies. The COVID-19 Pandemic created more dependence on the internet and digital tools. Small businesses will certainly explore this, but it will also threaten many regular jobs. You must become a learning machine and be able to absorb information faster than those around you.
Finally, not only would you need a Mentor, you’ll also need a protegee to understand the space of the millennials and young adults. Staying relevant in the age of creativity also requires faith, love, strong values and beliefs. These are essential and fundamental for the continued positive transformation of society, preservation of the human dignity and reverence to the Almighty God.
Written by: Chidi Iwe