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Prognostications, Predictions and Hot Topics for 2020

Happy New year! It’s hard to believe that we’re already in 2020—That means it’s time to predict what the new year will have in store for us! Below are a few predictions from our Consultants Collective member consultants. From the evolving gig economy and HR technology, China and global business trends, the upcoming US election, data governance, AI, AR and VR, employee advocacy, social media and advertising, here are just some of the things our experts are thinking about.

Stay tuned as we dive deeper into these and other hot topics over the next few weeks.

Dana Look-Arimoto

  • More and more gig economy and related businesses to support gig workers themselves coming to a town/country near you, but not without increasingly complexity and regulation (e.g., AB5)    
  • 10 years out, no more Glassdoor, no more striving for work-life ‘balance” and burnout plaguing the workforce. (Perhaps this is more of a wish)  There will be transparency for employers of choice and contract end — using companies of choice where culture, total and flexible rewards, and authentic work models rule the day. 

David Schlesinger

  • There will be a backlash against globalization, against China in particular, and against some of the key trends of previous years (gig economy and AI) will pick up pace. Expect more regulation, more restrictions and more attempts to redefine nationalism and national interest. 
  • The election will dominate the news cycle both at home and abroad – and the polarization of society will increase. The number one issue will become how to define “United” in the 21st century — for the “United” States, the “United” Kingdom and the European “Union.” This has clear implications for policy and business opportunities.

John W. Sigmon

  • New HR technology solutions will flood the market.
  • Governance First: Who should have access to the data? How is data protected? What are the implications of GDPR and CCPA?
  • The buzz phrase “Employee Experience” (EEUx) will become real as the EEUx merges and becomes indistinguishable from the Consumer Experience (CUx).
  • Learning is the new currency

Rod Thorn

  • There will be advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), especially in customer service through chatbots. This is also applicable to more even personalized personal assistants (for example, if I have to fly somewhere an app already knows what airlines I like, my frequent flier info, what seat I like, time of day, etc, and can then proactively send me options the same as my human assistant would do).
  • There will be an increase in the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), especially for training, entertainment, and advocacy.
  • We’ll see an increasingly distributed and transient workforce.
  • Look for more older entrepreneurs. Call them “olderpreneurs.” Companies generally kick workers out after they hit 50, yet our financial and social system wants to raise the retirement age to around 70 or so, and people are living longer than ever.
  • There will be an explosion of people driving all-electric vehicles, which are essentially computers on wheels.

John Clemons

  • Employee advocacy is a hot topic among communications and social media professionals: But are companies prepared for employees taking a stand on employer-related and social issues?
  • Which way AI?: What are the next steps?
  • There’s an increasing intersection between advertising and social media. Together, are they shaping public opinion, brand perception and driving American culture and norms (e.g., Peloton, Colin Kaepernick-Nike)? 

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