Future Friday: Questions everyone should be asking about their future

There are many questions we should all be asking about our future.

Last week I discussed Ira Wolfe’s forthcoming book called Recruiting in the Age of Googlization: When The SHIFT Hits Your Plan. I talked about his revised view of VUCA, called VUCA Prime and how it offers a way to see this very complex world in a different light. I then concluded saying that I was going to be discussing a list of questions that Wolfe feels all leaders, in fact all people, need to be asking about their futures in order to survive.

The questions

I am not going to repeat the entire list of questions. I want to leave something for you to look forward to when the book comes out. I will however pick some that I think are significant questions to ask and comment why.

Question 1

How will change disrupt your job, career, or business in the next 2 to 5 years?
This one is almost a no brainer. Everyone should be asking this, yet I find that many are not. More and more are but often on the individual level people are not really looking at how this may impact them a personal level. Many small businesses are not paying attention to changes in technology. It is almost like we hope that the impact doesn’t happen at too great a degree. The problem is, this lack of forethought may result in a job being lost or a company going out of business.

Question 2

How is technology disrupting your industry and what are you doing to ensure that your business does not get left behind?
Technology is advancing at a such pace that most people will be caught unaware. We read about some amazing technology and we are wowed at it, but seldom stop and think about how that will impact their job or their company. Some people are starting to talk disruption. In HR several HR leaders hold Disrupt HR sessions. I unfortunately have not attended one so I don’t know the themes of the discussions, but the topic of advancing technology and the potential for massive job changes certainly should be one of them.

Question 3

Which of our key products or services are most vulnerable to disruption from an emerging product or service?
This is an especially important question for HR professionals, in addition to company executives. In HR delivery of information, which for many practitioners is their “bread and butter’ job, is going to be taken over by AI. That individual will not be needed to answer questions. In a minor example, at home now that we have Alexa, my wife no longer needs to ask me what the weather will be like, what time it is, or what time the ballgame starts and who is pitching.

Question 4

How does our ability to attract and retain talent measure up with our competitors? What are our weakest links in our ability to attract and retain top talent?
I have combined two into this one question. This is a major concern, or should be, for companies. Much of this will center around technology and your use of it. Speed of transmission, speed of communication, and the ability to offer innovative methods and technologies are what may make the difference in a company’s ability to attract the best talent in the marketplace. New generations don’t come to work for just the highest money. They come to work for opportunities to be exposed to new and innovative ways of working. They are looking for new ways of working, and if you don’t offer that the amount of money you offer won’t make a difference.
These four questions are just some of the questions that Wolfe says need to be answered before it is too late. As Wolfe says “Disruptions will happen but the element of surprise is lost when you anticipate the subtle changes and respond with agility.” Being starting to formulate answers to these questions may provide you with some of the agility you need in the coming five years.

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