Editorial

by Alexander De Beir - Managing Director ADM

picture of Alexander De Beir


20/20: getting the best rating for anticipation!

Dear changemaker, first of all, I would like to wish you a very fulfilling year…2030.

You don’t want to think so far ahead? Please excuse my candor, but I think you should. The economy models are changing. They always have, but never as fast as now. According to various experts, the labor market will significantly evolve in the next ten years. 

So, will we behave like we did with regard to the “rumours” around climate change? Deny first, only to feel disarmed afterwards? Or will we decide to anticipate the transition right now? 

It would be a big mistake to doubt our individual ability to become a changemaker. Humanity often starts to react when facing a real shock. Seeing and even feeling the impact of the changing climate has finally made us change some habits. The same applies now to the job market and the economy.

You, a changemaker?

Yes you are. Even if you don’t know it yet. As a company owner you might opt for stability like a reliable family patriarch. As an employee, your search for job security is very understandable. However, sorry to disappoint you, certainty is dead. 

The good news is that real entrepreneurs are facing a tremendously exciting decade: they will question their current business models, check if their products and services keep meeting their clients’ expectations, and, if not, change what they do, or, perhaps, who they are doing it for. Eventually they will have to decide what kind of human resources they will need to continue or to change their business activities. 

In order to do so, some will conclude that they will temporarily need a Transition Manager, whose role will primarily be to make the changes more acceptable.  

Flattening the pyramid

Taking external, usually overqualified, and thus also more expensive, but only temporarily, profiles on board will not only help you facilitate and accelerate the transition but  also allow you to start remodeling the operational structure of your company for the longer term. 

Is this necessary? Of course it is!

The traditional organizational model as we know it will disappear. Employees and contractors will need to interact openly with management; not to wait patiently and rigidly for orders from above, but engage their personal convictions in the future of the company.

As digitalization is taking place, the notion of change will be permanently present in the company’s culture. Orders will be replaced by continuous exchange of knowledge and information. Your own company, if still successful in 2030, will be more open and mobile. And the other piece of good news is that your people will feel much better.

And you, vulnerable Manager…

…will be stronger at the end of the day. There will be no room for alpha men on the work floor anymore. Whether the CEO is leading in the long term or just temporarily taking over to bring the company to the next level, he will benefit of his capability to show his emotions. Indeed, whereas artificial intelligence might be taking the lead in some parts of the economy and the realization of it, our fundamental assets will more than ever remain in our ability to give an extra human dimension to our professional lives, with values like creativity, charisma, responsibility and trust.

Some professions will disappear. No doubt about it. Others will arise. Transition Managers will appear more frequently to help companies to achieve their metamorphosis. In 2030, a majority of high profiles above 45 years will see the major part of their income coming from transition management missions. The millennials who are now starting their first job will lead their careers as a chain of customer experiences: no longer “building” but consuming various experiences. 

Avoiding the pitfalls to exceed the goals

The worst we could do now would be to deny that times are changing and to listen to political leaders who, with their populist rhetoric, try to convince us that change is dangerous and that we need them to secure our peaceful life. 

An external interim manager will help you facilitate and accelerate the change, without any political agenda. As open as a supplier has to be for constructive remarks,  the client needs to be just as open. He will, in a more competitive world than ever before, expect to get more than he asked for. To be surprised, without even asking for it. Plan together with your clients because they will work faster with external intelligence, stimulating your resources. 

2030 looks quite exciting! Let’s start building the changing future together right now!

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