Originally posted on 12 Dec 2013

If you think back to the 1970s – a world before the Internet and emails, before the cloud and everything digital as we know it today – who could have imagined the changes about to burst on the scene?

If we now envisage the business world of 2018 – only 5 years away – what could we expect?

The Chancellor’s plans to shrink spending on public services and administration mean that businesses must decide what sort of organisation they are going to be in future, according to journalist and commentator Will Hutton[1].

He said that the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 5 December, with proposals to proportionally reduce public spending to 1948 levels, had been an “extraordinary moment in the political life” of George Osborne.

The article by Clare Warren in Personnel Management says that Hutton pointed out that the Chancellor’s plans, which will only come to fruition if there are no changes in government or government policy, mean that in 2018 “You will have had to decide what kind of company you are going to be”:

·        One that promotes fairness and supports its workforce to encourage higher productivity, asked Hutton, or
·        One that shifts pressure onto the individual, ignores employee voice and continues to widen the wage gap between employees at the top and bottom of the scale, for example.

Hutton was speaking at the final seminar in Zurich Life’s Future History Now project, a series of films, articles and events looking at how the world and the workplace will look in 2018.


Winston Churchill once said: “This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.”

Steve Ballmer at Microsoft lost growth and became trapped in apparently dead-end business models. On the other hand, Jeff Bezos at Amazon appears to invest in trends to implement game changers that are low risk yet yield significant growth, such as the idea of drones to deliver orders the same day.

In the future, how do you plan to be daring and enduring?


William C. (Bill) Taylor is cofounder of Fast Company magazine and author of Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself.

He says:

  • The real message is: If your customers can live without you, eventually they will.
  • The big challenge: If you do business the way everyone else does business, you’ll never do any better.
  • The urgent question: If your company went out of business would anyone notice? Follow him on Twitter at @practicallyrad.

[1] See article in People Management at: www.cipd.co.uk


Also worth reading, is a great blog: Mobile in 2013, what next in 2014? on www.operamediaworks.com started by Aaron Macpherson, Account Management Executive at 4th screen Advertising.

Martin Pollins
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