Even formerly creative domains such as marketing are increasingly dominated by quantitative-focused technologists. There is no room for avoiding technology. Seek every opportunity in your work life to gain training on the latest programs and applications. Work in your personal life to understand and even participate in the trends around social, mobile, apps and others. Like it or not, your world is a technology driven world and if you fail to keep learning, you will be moving backward at the speed of change.
A great many managers still operate by gut instinct and prefer their own experiences to crunching the data. There are many challenges with data, including quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness etc., yet all of us are on the hook for learning to leverage the tools. As a veteran manager, be unwilling to blindly trust data without understanding the assumptions and limitations, nonetheless, always try to factor data into your decision-making.
As routine work is increasingly automated, the work of projects will focus on innovation, infrastructure modernization and strategy execution. The role of project manager or project sponsor will grow in importance and effective managers will understand how to fulfill these roles and better support their teams.
As organizations compress, the focus of work will be horizontal and not vertical within a function. Managers will increasingly be called upon to organize temporary coalitions to seize emerging opportunities and squash fast-moving threats. Additionally, as projects take on increasing significance, answers to key issues will reside somewhere outside of the traditional functions. An effective network that can tap into the right resources at the right time will be essential.
The Bottom Line:
Admittedly, predicting the future by looking at a list of trends is much like predicting the taste of a dessert by looking at the list of ingredients. Nonetheless, the trends around communication, democratization of information and the work of innovation are fairly clear. In the meantime, there’s a great deal of work for managers able to command the new technologies in support of creation and business execution. For those who allow technology to pass them by, the future will be a lot less accommodating.