As one year ends, it is always interesting to see what people anticipate coming in the next year. On LinkedIn, there is an interesting group of posts from business thinkers and leaders giving their suggestions about what we might see. As you might expect, some of the trends are built on technology or ideas started in earlier years while others are potentially new ways of engaging with the world. The interesting thing to discover over 2014 will whether these trends are more like an unfolding or truly transformative.
What is coming next?
On our Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz and elsewhere, there has been so much talk about the uncertainty and rapid change which has made many business owners and executives reluctant to invest, hire or embark on growth projects. There is always that optimism that somehow things will be more understandable or predictable in a new year. It may be that 2014 might be an interesting year as people and companies decide to take action because sitting still will leave them too far behind.
Here are some of the trends and ideas that could gain traction in 2014:
- 3D Printing- This one seems pretty obvious since there is a great deal of excitement around 3D printing. Mike Michalowicz, CEO of the Provendus Group writes in OPEN Forum that these printers will come down in price and make it easier for companies to produce on demand. There are some thinkers who believe that this will change manufacturing and even allow for greater customizing of products.
- Robotics- This has been an interesting area over the years and as Verne Harnish writes on CNN Money that more widespread use of robots will reduce headcount in manufacturing and increase productivity.
- Video- This trend seemed to emerge in 2013 but is becoming more favored. Interesting statistics about how and what people view. Google and search engines appear to be giving more weight to video content
- Emerging markets- While the BRIC nations and other emerging markets are slowing, an EY report and Barron’s suggest that these might be places of growth later in 2014. In fact, there is some discussion that people should watch Indonesia and Africa.
- Social business- With the IPO of Twitter in late 2013 and the ongoing public performance of Facebook, social business has shown it can be more than a fad. According to Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay and author of The Facebook Era, social business will cement itself as a tool that all companies use and support the relational trend in marketing and sales.
Where do you think business is going in 2014?
Whether you agree with the writers of the LinkedIn 2014 predictions or the other posts cited here, it is always interesting to stop and see what is emerging (or even lurking) in the months ahead. And there are lots more predictions about the future of marketing, leadership, the workplace, the global economy and many other aspects of business.
What do you see staying the same? Changing? Or simply being brand new? Join us this Friday, December 6, 2013 at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT on the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz as we peer into the future of 2014.
What trends of 2013 surprised you?
What didn’t happen in 2013?
Which 2014 business trends are expanding on ideas or trends from 2013?
What is the most unusual 2014 business trend that you have heard?
What business trends for 2014 do you see gaining traction?