"Must Know Trends for Your Business"Futurist Simon Anderson (coauthor with Jack Uldrich of Foresight 20/20: A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow) is thought provoking, to say the least. His ideas focus on technology’s impact on the workplace and its future. He emphasizes the influence of “digital natives” – that is, those born in the early 1980s who were brought up in the digital environment. (Yes, by now we have all most likely heard the distinctions between Millennials and prevailing Boomers, but there is more that is critical to understand.) In sharp contrast to the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, digital natives value “access” more than “ownership”, which promotes a culture of sharing. Consider three thriving business examples that exemplify this shift in approach: Pandora, Airbnb, and GM’s Carsharing business.

Technology, along with the personal and collective values of “access” and “sharing”, is pushing out the old way of work, and pulling in (encouraging) entrepreneurialism. This is good news for women entrepreneurs and emerging entrepreneurs!

In addition, we are seeing flexibility trump salary as a key motivator of the younger workforce, as well as women. That fact, along with results-oriented environments (ROE’s), is creating a shift from the traditional 9 to 5 work/role. This is critically important for business owners and leaders to understand, so you can make appropriate adjustments in developing your people plans (i.e., the organizational structure, hiring, managing and promoting employees, and in developing processes that drive your operations).

Next, and very exciting, is that we are finally moving away from our broken and simply outdated (industrial age) model of education. Massive open online courses (MOOC’s)– that are FREE, are taking education by storm. Initially introduced by the well-known online Khan Academy, these courses were designed for students, parents, and teachers. (If you have children and have not explored this yet, visit http://www.khanacademy.org .) And, for adult learning, you need to know about Udacity, edx, and Coursera – all of which engage leading professors to teach thousands of students for free. For example, Coursera alone is currently involved with 62 prominent universities from 16 different countries, offering more than 370 online courses to more than 3, 516,702 “Courserians” (students); and it’s growing by the minute! Think about what this means to the current challenges and burdens of the high cost of education — and how it can address the disparities in education, along with the differing levels of skill and knowledge gaps among workers.

So, thanks for the update and outlook, Simon Anderson! To learn more about his work and trending – visit his website www.Futur1st.com and get his and Jack Uldrich’s new book, Foresight 20/20: A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow.