2014 – What does it hold for us all?

Well 2014 is well under way for most of us. Many of us sighed a sigh of relief that 2013 was over, some are looking forward with anticipation to 2014 – others are not so sure how it will pan out.

What we can all be sure of is that it will be a very interesting year – let us hope it will not be “interesting” in a Chinese curse sort of way!

As many others do at this time I will put on my “foreseeing” hat and try to predict some of the big things to watch for in 2014. Here are my top 5 predictions (or what I think we need to look out for);

  1. We will continue to see a shift in thinking away from mere profitability towards stakeholder satisfaction – obviously one if the stakeholders to be satisfied would be the shareholders. Over the past few years this trend has already begun to emerge but only a handful of organisations have started to actually implement what has been lip-service by many others. One of the key factors driving this has been the move towards Integrated Reporting.
  2. Integrated Reports are going to make a lot more sense that they have up until now – yet the challenge of properly presenting the interrelationship between the people, the planet and the profit elements of the report is going to remain. The Integrated Report must ultimately provide a complete and accurate picture of the organisation’s performance – the biggest challenge in compiling these reports is access to the right information to make the non-financial elements meaningful.
  3. Data, data, data – is going to be the demand from organisational leaders as they begin to understand the exposure they face for the decisions they make and hesitate to make decisions without sufficient and appropriate data at hand to back up/justify their decisions. The challenge will be to find the right measures and then be able to make the right measurements to empower decision making. To get the balance right between the volumes of data, the accuracy of the data and its meaningfulness is going to create a new set of challenges for decision making teams.
  4. The ability of teams to make decisions is going to be sorely tested! In the past many decisions have made by default with many so called decision makers acquiescing to the will of the dominant few. This approach will no longer be sufficient as it will potentially leave everyone exposed. So a new set of skills will be required among leadership teams as they seek to build resilient organisations – skills that enable better thinking together, deciding together and acting together.
  5. The organisations that stand out, succeed and prosper throughout 2014 will be those that are truly resilient as a result of building an adaptive governance framework that enables the achievement of the organisations goals for the year.

Personally I am looking forward to this year and hoping it will be a year of growth and impact in the areas of Strategy, Governance and Leadership – I aim to assist as many organisations come to terms with these and other challenges they face.

(And O yes we do have an election here in South Africa to contend with – should be interesting)

I would be very interested in hearing what you think are going to be the trends into 2014 – what will we be saying about 2014 when we look back in early 2015? Use the comments below to share your thoughts.

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