Global uncertainty, technological disruptions, social and cultural shifts — as we step into 2024 leaders are faced with yet another year of transformative change.
The future of work is our most requested topic of 2024. Speakers Spotlight recently released our guide to the future of work, exploring key themes and how our expert speakers are helping audiences best navigate this next chapter of working.
In part one of our 2024 Trends series, we’ve rounded up the leadership trends shaping the year ahead. We asked our leadership experts what trends leaders should watch out for/prepare for in 2024? Here’s what they said.
AI and Its Impact on the Workplace
This is a make-or-break year for leaders facing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. They must remain vigilant of two intertwined trends:
- Increasing demand for AI-enhanced, human-centric work environments.
- The imperative to overcome “active inertia.”
Tomorrow’s winning work environment is one where AI enhances human potential rather than replaces it. This shift reflects a broader societal disillusionment with outdated management models that prioritize short-term gains over employee well-being.
Simultaneously, “active inertia” — where leaders cling to old strategies despite new realities — is particularly perilous. The false dichotomy between an organization’s needs and employee well-being is a prime example of this outdated thinking.
This is where both trends harmonize: In 2024, leaders should leverage AI to automate mundane tasks (freeing time for creative and strategic thinking) and foster a culture of continuous learning. This approach will create resilient, innovative organizations aligned with evolving societal values.
Using AI to enhance human potential can be a force multiplier for the greatest good.
Increasing Demand for Transformative Leaders
2023 was a divisive year in many ways, with strikes across industries, wars erupting, and economic conditions still feeling tough, regardless of what the macro-view is saying.
While the lockdowns ended over two years ago, and the impact of the summer of Black Lives Matter is no longer as evident, the change in the social fabric is permanent. Combine this with a new generation entering the workforce, with expectations and desires quite unlike any generation before, and we have a landscape that is full of uncertainty, political landmines, and emotional trapdoors galore.
In times like these, there is a desperate desire for leadership that is brave, courageous, and transformative. This is not a time for “managing”, for doing things how we have “always done them”, simply out of habit or from a place of fear. This is a time to invite new possibility into the tent, experiment, and move into a place of strength. Leading from a place of strength, even when one is afraid — that truly is transformative.
FOBO — the Fear of Being Obsolete
It was around mid-2023 when the employee vibe surrounding technology went through a noticeable shift. Before, those outside of management had a positive and exciting view of tech.
They usually experienced FOMO — Fear of Missing Out — and pleaded with their managers to give them access to the latest tools, platforms, and devices. But, as we shifted into the back of 2023 and saw more transformative leaps in AI, FOMO was replaced by FOBO — Fear of Being Obsolete.
With disagreements around in-office protocol, demands for pay transparency, growing executive compensation, and a whole host of other industry-specific issues, there’s a widening gap between management and staff — it’s up to leaders to close it.
They can start by making people feel excited about technology again. They need to leave FOBO behind and reignite the FOMO of progress. Leaders need to guide implementation with total transparency. They need to complement financial and productivity analysis with holistic metrics like quality of work, employee engagement, workplace fulfillment, and quality of life.
When employees see that they can spend more time on the good stuff, less time on the boring stuff, AND enjoy their jobs more, they’ll experiment, embrace, and evolve. But if they think their job is on the line, they’ll avoid it.
No one wants to be a willing participant in their own demise. And if leaders don’t put their people before their profits, they’ll be the ones who will be the active participants in their downfall.
Individual Growth for Collective Success
Leaders will be called upon to facilitate flourishing more than ever before in 2024 — to unlock talent within each individual on their team. Their biggest challenge will lie in bridging the multi-generational teams and overcoming the entitlement narrative. As a result, leaders need to find new ways to connect with their multi-generational teams to enable them to do their best work, individually and collectively.
2023’s workplace trends of quiet quitting (5:01 & done), over-employment, burnout, and partnering with generative AI have put us in this central turning point in 2024. The leaders who can quickly build effective relationships and pinpoint superpowers will be able to maximize each individual team member’s capabilities and drive a deeper connection to the organizational purpose.
Jay Kiew is a change navigation strategist whose remarkable blend of professional expertise and personal resilience equips leaders to hack through the thick of change and disruption.
The Fine Balance Between High Performance and Burnout
We have been discussing burnout for years, the conversation now should be on how to develop sustainable work. As leaders, we need to be conscious of the behaviours and work design that we are modelling and rewarding, and the work norms we put in place to ensure we are creating sustainable work — work that is productive, innovative, and ambitious but also values and supports rest and respite for ourselves and our teams.
Gone are the days of valuing long work hours, we need to shift to results-oriented metrics. Your job as a leader is to create the best environment for the brains of your team members to function optimally, which includes psychological safety, community, connection, social rewards systems, and understanding when and how to take your foot off the gas. Rest is not an opposing force to work, it is a key component of doing your and your team’s best work.
Grounded in the latest scientific research, Dr. Lisa Bélanger explores the art of leading amidst the constant flux of technology and the rapid pace of change. She explores strategies not only for enhancing personal mental agility but also for nurturing the mental agility of our teams.
Speakers Spotlight represents some of the most renowned leadership keynote speakers. Contact us to learn more and discover how they can help your organization get ahead of trends re-shaping the world of work.