The early part of every New Year is a time when there’s a lot of discussion of trends for the coming year. 2016 is no exception. Every important sector projects what they will contain and be like. Here are some highlights.
For health care, there is more technology advancing into medical practice. Medical devices continue to seek FDA approval. You can be monitored and medicated with new technology. Data collection at all levels of care will continue. Ever wonder why your primary care physician greets you balancing a laptop on his arm?
Manufacturing will continue to be automated. Robots will have more sophistication. Operator’s computer-based tweaks to the production line will increase with a higher level of sophistication to make the system run more efficiently and effectively. Look for software that will provide for greater self-corrections in machine operations.
Banking will see more sophisticated security systems for online money transfers and for the protection of each branch. New regulations for 2016 will mean more people to keep up with the forms necessary to meet the new requirements. This means being nice to your bank managers, especially when they are having a challenging day.
With education, the attention to enrollment means deciding whether to provide more online courses or continue with classroom instruction. Innovation will be the key to success. Providing new and exciting courses with the best instructional delivery technique will attract new students. Teachers who have a passion for their subject matter will increase both online, with hybrid, or classroom instruction. At the grammar school level, look for early learning opportunities for the youngest children. More subjects might move into after-school and out-of-school activities for maintenance and enrichment from grammar school through college. Educational opportunities with diverse subjects will continue to grow for older adults.
The general business sector will see continued mergers, consolidation and growth. The beer, pharmaceutical, transportation and energy industries will continue their consolidation. New businesses will continue to start up with more women owners leading the way. Look for greater automation in cars that will allow for more automated driving. But don’t sleep at the wheel yet!
In most every sector, there will also be a greater focus on people. Business leaders will continue to learn how to manage a community of stakeholders with less hierarchy. Business strategies will include building a highly engaged workforce that is deeply invested in the organizational goals.
Even in retirement you can do more to stay active and productive. You’ll be connected to family and friends with instant messaging. For your health, you’ll be monitored in real time by your medical specialists as needed. Exercise equipment is being designed to fit in urban apartments. If you can afford them, robots will clean your residence and retrieve whatever you may need. The line between work and non-work is already blurring with less office presence and greater work being done from home or vacation spot.
One other area that deserves some attention is a greater focus on personal development inside and outside of work. There will be more emphasis on memory improvement from exercises to pills. To slow down the pace of a faster world, there will be use of meditation and mindfulness. The ascendance of women will continue in the culinary arts, military, business, politics, religion, science, education and in the professional services.
These are some interesting trends to watch for. There are, of course, many more general and specific trends too numerous to mention here. So let’s have at least two expectations, that 2016 be a year of coming together for shared prosperity and for greater world peace.
Bob Vecchiotti is a business advisor and executive coach in Peterborough. His website is www.leadershipexpert.com