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What Will 2022 Bring? Here’s What the Experts Say

The pandemic fast-forwarded our world 10 years in just three months. What will 2022 bring? We asked the experts.

From AI to employee experience, leadership style to the state of the world, these are the trends to watch in 2022 and what your audiences will want to talk about this year.

Digital Transformation

Andrew AuAndrew Au

Global Thought Leader on Digital Transformation and Culture Change

The pandemic reminded us that employee experience (EX) matters. But how do we know if our EX is good or not? Is it moving in the right direction? Employee experience platforms help us answers these questions.

With 4 in 10 people thinking about leaving their employer, employee experience is a top priority for every leader today. In 2022, I predict the rise of employee experience platforms (EXPs), which bring together employee insights, productivity, skilling, and support.

EXPs help leaders understand how their people feel, work, and collaborate. It can collect employee data, display anonymized team analytics, and recommend important actions to take. For employees, EXPs offer private, personalized insights and recommendations to improve their productivity and wellness.

EXPs are not a replacement for great leadership. Quite the opposite. It augments it by helping leaders understand their teams’ feelings, needs, and wants in real-time. So they can see burnout before it happens, proactively solve skilling gaps, and foster a culture that is equally felt by remote and in-office team members.

Sinead BovellSinead Bovell

Futurist | AI and Future of Work Expert

Artificial intelligence has taken centre stage in conversations about the future of work. Small and large companies alike are repositioning themselves to capitalize on this technology. But what often gets overlooked is how artificial intelligence will emerge as a general-purpose technology. The way we stream the internet we will soon be streaming intelligence.

Welcome to the era of intelligence at scale. Where you can take a problem you are working on, whether it’s figuring out the best market to target, the willingness-to-pay of customers, the drug formula with the least side effects, a way to forecast climate change, and literally point artificial intelligence at it to help you solve it. This will drastically change the competitive landscape. For instance, startups can leverage intelligence at scale to leapfrog over legacy companies and processes.

Preparing for a future with artificial intelligence isn’t just about implementing smart processes or systems. It’s about redesigning your foundation, rethinking your competitive advantages, and rebuilding your strategy to account for this next chapter.

Strategy

Shawn KanungoShawn Kanungo

Strategy in a World of Disruption

2020 was about resiliency, 2021 was about adaptation, and 2022 is about innovation. Innovation will come from the bottom-up more than ever before.

The one thing that we learned from the pandemic is that everyone has the ability to innovate. Individuals, from all parts of their organizations, were finding new ways of operating, collaborating, and rapidly executing against innovation initiatives.

In 2022, workplaces will go beyond just listening and garnering feedback from their employees, but rather, allowing them room to experiment and innovate. Not only do employers want their teams to thrive in uncertainty, but be able to translate their insights into action.

The most beautiful part of innovation is that it works best when its permission-less. By creating an environment of psychological safety where employees can have room to experiment, it will help them weather the storm of the next big crisis, and ultimately build a culture of innovation.

Amber MacAmber Mac

Innovation Speaker

If there’s one word that keeps popping up in my mind as we spring into 2022, it’s this: fluidity. My prediction for what it will take to survive in predictable unpredictability includes these three pillars: digital discipline, purpose prioritization, and workplace wellness.

Watch the video below to learn more:

 

Leadership

Dr. Robyne Hanley-DafoeDr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

Expert on Resiliency and Workplace Wellness

The reality is that our people, teams, and organizations are weary. As 2022 unfolds, marking the second year of this global health pandemic, feelings of overwhelm and frustration are likely to increase AND our capacity to see our resiliency and resolve can also grow.

The leaders who understand the importance of fostering psychological safety, agency and flexibility within their teams will emerge from whatever 2022 presents us, well positioned. These teams will then be the ones who are ready to co-create our new familiars and systems.

My hope is that the conversations about wellness and the importance of life-with-work-balance continue beyond the current global crisis. Change is never convenient. Change is meant to make us pay attention. Change is hard. Let’s keep a steady and ready mindset to meet the challenges that lay before us. Thankfully, we all can do hard things.

Hamza KhanHamza Khan

Future of Work Expert

In 2022, the concept of “business as usual” will cease to exist. And leaders and teams will find themselves not in a “new normal” but rather a “new abnormal” with four characteristics:

  • Volatility: The more volatile the environment, the faster and further conditions change.
  • Uncertainty: The more uncertain the environment, the harder it is to forecast.
  • Complexity: The more complex the environment, the harder it is to analyze.
  • Ambiguity: The more ambiguous the environment, the harder it is to decipher.

To successfully navigate the future of work, an organization’s internal environment must change faster than its external environment. This will require a refreshed model of leadership: “modern leadership.” In 2022, organizations should strive to become:

  • Human-Centric: New leaders will unlock the full potential of the varied perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences of their increasingly diverse workforce.
  • Change-Friendly. New leaders will promote adaptation and resilience.
  • Self-Disrupting. New leaders will adequately prepare their organization for the world that will be.
  • Values-Driven. New leaders will galvanize support from a public demanding more equitable and sustainable outcomes for the world at large.

If properly empowered, modern leaders will introduce the sort of thinking and perspective necessary to disrupt and renew their organization before circumstances demand it (or before it’s too late).

Global Affairs

Janice Gross SteinJanice Gross Stein

Founding Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

The tension between the United States and China will deepen, but stop well short of any direct conflict. China is likely to have a difficult year as its zero-COVID policies collapse in the face of highly infectious new variants and a vaccine that does not work against them. COVID that races through China will lead to cuts in manufactured goods and traffic jams in ports and shipping that will generate global supply chain problems that dwarf those of this past year.

A contraction in China’s growth will spill out more generally into the global economy and affect all its trading partners. The United States will not have a smooth ride either. Increasingly polarized politics threaten to compromise the capacity of the United States to legislate and deliver on the supports that American voters want.  In 2022, both great powers will face their biggest challenges at home.

Interested in learning more and what these keynote speakers can bring to your next event? Email us at [email protected].