If one thing became clear in 2020, is that anything can change. Over night.

Who would have guessed that some weird virus in China, emerging in November of 2019, would have such an impact on the market, health care, and the liberties of citizens around the world? One of its consequences is that we are confronted, rather harshly, with the fact that anything can change. Additionally, if you are not flexible in changing with the circumstances, you will be left behind. So the question emerges: Are you ready for the future?

(This is article #01 in a short series that will look at what’s needed to become and stay successful in ever-changing times. Follow our LinkedIn page here for #02 en #03!)

The stories of entrepreneurs in the hotel and catering industry, who have had to alter their entire business plan last year from offline experience to online delivery are known.

Additionally, the stories about white collar companies who no longer flock to office buildings during working hours, but who work from home whilst operating their Zoom or Microsoft Teams calls are also very familiar by now.

Let’s not forget the healthcare workers, who have been working non-stop since the outbreak. They have been taking care of the sick and needy, and are doing an amazing job.

In short: The impact is clear to all, and the above-mentioned examples don’t come close in showing the full picture. Everybody has their Covid-stories, with family, friends, and with professional relationships.

However, one thing is very clear: Everybody has had to adapt to this new, and in the beginning unknown, situation.

It's time for change and adapting to be ready for the future.

It’s really too bad that a dangerous situation, such as Covid-19, was needed to cause this.

What else will change?

Technology continues to change. That much is clear. The emergence of new technology, more effective way of automating, and the evolution of artificial intelligence are going to disrupt entire industries. And that is just the tip of the ice berg. The exponential change, inserted by disruptive technology, will impact all aspects of human life.

Obviously, plenty has been written about that. Just Google search terms that have to do with the effects and consequences of new technologies, automation, or A.I., and it will become very obvious right away.

But let’s not forget that in the short- and mid term, there will be consequences for organizations and the people that work in those organizations. A lot of jobs will change, due to the new tech that we’ll be working with.

Accountants becoming obsolete is a rumor that has been going around for a while. Much of their jobs will be taken over by effective automation and AI. Where should these accountants go?

What about the factories? What jobs will remain exactly the same, if the machines can operate more and more autonomously? Even more so: If those machines can recognize mistakes earlier, and undertake the appropriate and automized acties to correct those mistakes?

Are the factories ready for the future?

Keep your sights on Elon Musk, too, who is ahead of the curve with his companies. Especially when it concerns self-driving cars and trucks. What will that mean for the logistical and transport industry, or the cab drivers who color New York yellow?

The prospect is that many jobs as we know them now, will change or disappear. Easy as that.

The times they are a-changin’

In fact, the entire Covid-19 situation, and the ever-changing circumstances, continually remind me of the famous Bob Dylan song The Times They Are A-Changin’Especially the first verse:

Come gather ’round, people / Wherever you roam / And admit that the waters / Around you have grown / And accept it that soon / You’ll be drenched to the bone / If your time to you is worth savin’ / And you better start swimmin’ / Or you’ll sink like a stone / For the times they are a-changin’

Simply said: The water is rising, and you’ll just have to accept that it will impact you. But: If you think it’s important to keep on keeping on, you better start swimming. Or you’ll sink. The water is coming – how will you handle it?

This song was released in 1964. The only constant is change..?

And now what?

How long it will take for those job to change, is unclear and dependent on many factors, such as technological progress and the needs of the markets. In these articles, I will not be answering that question.

What I can tell you, however, is that there will always be a very important role for businesses and professionals. The way you will or won’t be a part of that, depends on your mind set regarding these developments. And how ready for the future you are.

That is what this series of articles will be about.

Vision Forward supports people and organizations in these developments. In fact, the irrationality of mankind is the foundation of everything we do in our training sessions and developmental projects. We know that this is an essential part of ‘getting free’ of non-conscious beliefs that limit you, and the transition to conscious and constructive beliefs that will get you ready for your success in the future.

Get in touch with us, and we’ll talk about the future of your organization and the people who work in it. Now and in the future.

This was article #01. Follow our LinkedIn page to be informed when #02 and #03 are published!

Written by Stephan Annema

Subscribe to the YouTube channel of our CEO Martijn Schaap, when you want to know more about goal-setting, achieving success, and what it takes to be an entrepreneur.