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2019 Talent Predictions

While many know i4cp for our research, which focuses on the next practices of high-performance organizations, in many ways it’s our community that is our secret ingredient. 

We’re privileged to showcase the perspectives and predictions of leading-edge executive practitioners from i4cp member organizations, as well as acclaimed members of i4cp’s Thought Leader Consortium, who make up our unique community. The collective insight is inspiring and without parallel. 

For 2019, we kept it simple; we asked this distinguished group for their expectations in the coming year on two important questions:

  • How do you see the way work is being conducted changing over the next 12 months, and what would your recommendation be to other HR leaders seeking to stay ahead of this disruption? 
  • What is critical to transforming a culture or maintaining a disruptive culture? 
As I read the responses, it became clear that 2018 was an incredibly polarizing year and has had a significant impact on how we are thinking about 2019. In recent times, human capital professionals have dealt with a level of divisiveness, moral and ethical issues, and discussions of values and inclusion like never before. Clearly this has impacted many organizational cultures and has tested the decision skills of leadership. Hanging in the balance is the productivity of the workforce—something we now suspect is more fragile than previously thought. The cause and effect between outside forces and our internal environment seems more pronounced than ever.

Our expert panel’s predictions boiled down to a few distinct (and alliterative) themes:    

  1. Inclusion and Immunity – Many of our experts referenced not only the importance of fostering an inclusive environment, but also providing psychological safety at work. These are not new ideas, just concepts whose importance has risen in today’s polarizing climate.
  2. Purpose and Profit – Workers across all generations are placing a high priority on applying their talent to organizations that have clear purpose that extends beyond profit. Organizations must be able to authentically connect to both the head and the heart of the talent it seeks to attract and retain.
  3. Listening and Learning – While listening to the workforce is imperative, what may be more important today is helping employees feel like their voices matter and that they are able to contribute. Leveraging the collective wisdom of the workforce is a concept that is still underutilized in many organizations, but high-performance organizations prove their agility by listening and learning quickly in order to execute effectively.
  4. Clarity and Collaboration – With so much happening (internally and externally), clarity about what matters most, why it matters, and where it can make the greatest impact is essential. For example, pursuing collaborations in a very purposeful (i.e., intentional) manner, identifying the real information flow and bottlenecks across the enterprise, and preparing workers to leverage (and not become victims of) new-age technologies is what sets the high performers apart from the low performers.
  5. Trust and Transparency – What a leader produces is no longer sufficient unless how they went about achieving those results aligns with the organization’s values and desired culture.Trust in the organization is critical. So, whether an organization seeks to be more agile, innovative, collaborative, or inclusive, the behaviors it needs of its leaders (at all levels) must be modeled and reinforced consistently.

This past year brought tremendous disruption and volatility to markets and organizations worldwide. And there appears to be no end to this tumultuous environment as we enter the new year. 

With the help of our community, we sensed this. It’s the reason i4cp kick-started 2018 with ground-breaking research on organizational agility and it’s also the motivation behind an extensive new survey we have just concluded on the leadership and HR actions that transform culture—the largest research study in the history of i4cp. 

These and other important studies—in addition to the perspective shared by the 16 leaders we’ve featured here—will uniquely position i4cp members to successfully anticipate, adapt, and act in this era of continuous and accelerated change.

Here’s to a productive—and hopefully less polarizing 2019. 

Download i4cp's 2019 Talent Predictions White Paper

Kevin Oakes
Kevin is the CEO and co-founder of i4cp. He is a world-recognized thought leader on the topics of corporate culture, the future of work, and learning, and is the author of the bestselling book Culture Renovation: 18 Leadership Actions to Build an Unshakeable Company.