Are you prepared for the changes ahead?
Is it time again to bring out the photo albums of the past and the crystal balls to look into the future? Here are some thoughts from our team brainstorming session on where we are and where we will be— hopefully—12 months from now.
Before we look at the future, let’s peruse a quick timeline:
- 2019: All’s good
- 2020: COVID-19
- 2021: More COVID-19 and some recovery
- 2022: More recovery, war, inflation, and the big awakening
- 2023: Building a future and learning from the three years that almost brought us to our knees
What did Europe, i.e., Germany, do in 2022 to stop its economy from sliding into chaos?
- Liquid gas reservoirs (built, filled, ready to distribute)
- Migration away from gas to community energy and oil (for some companies completed, for others, in migration)
- Keeping nuclear power plants alive (3 plants, for now until Q1, 2023)
- Restricting sell-out of intellectual/engineering property to third-world countries (namely China, + new stringent rules in general)
- Restricting stakeholder % for third-world countries (namely China, + new stringent rules in general)
- Bringing production back home: microchips, pharmaceuticals… (see China and India)
Plenty of thinking and re-thinking for 2023:
- Re-rethinking the way we work (where, how, internet, commute)
- Re-rethinking the way we communicate/consume communication. What are essential/crucial pieces of communication?
- Re-rethinking education and the use of technology
- Re-rethinking the talent market. What qualifies individuals, and how much should we invest in training?
- Re-rethinking the technology stack (what we use, recommend, support)
- Re-rethinking assessments (workflow, workplace, workforce)
- Re-rethinking Customer Satisfaction Management (support, services, customer journey)
- Re-rethinking brick & mortar (retail!)
Better Success Lies Ahead
Looking across the big pond, I can only come to one conclusion. Let’s not kid ourselves; 2023 will not be the year of unseen success, but the year of laying new foundations for a streak of new achievements.
And this could be the biggest success story of the past decade(s): Coming out of a period of significant profits, diving nose-first into the COVID chaos, and then making thoughtful, courageous decisions for different levels of success that could lead to more sustainable achievements than we have seen in the past.
Globalization is elevating and full of opportunities. Considering the first half of the 20th century, the promise of peace and understanding on an international level was just too good to be true. But now that reality has caught up with us, what should we do? Go small, i.e., local again? Be complacent, stay global? Be bold, pause, and think for a moment! Re-adjust our focus. Yes, we need to be global. Our supply chains and our businesses depend on it. But should we continue offshoring at any price? Shouldn’t we instead go through the list and consider nearshoring and, where off- and nearshoring are affecting essential goods and services, consider bringing things closer to home?
Germany, like the U.S., has already taken resolute steps due to the harsh awakening on February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine. Distributed dependencies are one of the critical decisions of 2022. Don’t rely on just one partner or source; create a pool of reliable partners for your most essential resources.
Over the past 25 years, we’ve been rethinking and re-inventing almost every part of our business and personal lives. The year 2023 should be the one to rethink what we’ve changed and achieved. Are we going too fast? How many weak links are we leaving behind? Are our decisions sustainable? Are our business and private lives sustainable? And the list of questions goes on, and on, and on….
We most likely will have just escaped a medium-grade recession, but what have we learned from those past 12 months in limbo? Many of us have changed what and how we work. Many businesses are still in the middle of adjusting to new ways of life and work. But are they also altering the way they listen to customers? Let’s, for a moment, bring back the Metaverse. What was supposed to be the next big tech thing may be tech’s biggest disaster as Meta created a world most users can’t access (the price of technology), and vast numbers of possible contributors still need to be ready to invest.
Our motto for 2023 will be: LISTEN and THINK. Listen to what customers want, what international markets whisper, and what history urges us to remember. Happy 2023!