Lifelong Learning: The Essential Habit Entrepreneurs Need to be Prepared for Future Trends
This post will speak the loudest to those who identify as:
- Early adopters
- Those who believe education and credential-seeking are definitely NOT the same thing
- People who consider soft skills to be vital to professional effectiveness
Entrepreneurship has always been the backbone of America’s national and local economies.
As many of you may recognize, directional change has accelerated as the internet entered its 2.0, and now 3.0 phases.
We no longer measure new trends and their speed of adoption in decades—rather, we speak of years, or in some instances, months! Review the following summary to learn more: https://www.smartinsights.com/marketing-planning/marketing-models/diffusion-innovation-model/
If you are an entrepreneur, one of the five most important soft skills you must focus on is adaptability.
Those who resist, deny, or procrastinate on preparing for future waves of change in the business world will struggle as broad and deep trends continue to disrupt our businesses.
Additionally, for those who fully embrace the heart and soul of truly defined education, you will come to realize that a lifelong learning culture in your organization will go a long way towards your “adaptability quotient” being high enough to ride the waves and manage the flood tides.
5 Trends to Watch
Speaking as someone who is part futurist and part early adopter, I’ve been tracking trends in my educational consulting and advisory business for a long while. People deserve to be aware of what could be years away, let alone what might be right over the horizon.
The five trends I have listed below promise to shake up huge chunks of today’s economies – and many jobs people rely on to support their families. But this list of five examples is far from all-inclusive. I’m not able to unpack these five, however, I encourage you to dive in to learn more – becoming self-educated. The ripples they are causing, or will cause, in the economic “pool” are profound!
- Automation (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, etc. )
- Self Driving & Unmanned Vehicles (personal transportation, delivery of goods, drones, etc.)
- Gig Economy (Peer-to-Peer, Sharing, Conceptual Age, etc.)
- Holistic Wellness > Sick Care
- Blockchain (cryptocurrencies, tokens, etc.)
How can a self-educating culture positively impact your business?
The speeds at which the listed trends are accelerating will soon overwhelm any business that only knows how to capitalize on or defend against change by onboarding individuals who have conventional degrees/certifications.
Even the best institutions of primary/secondary (“K-12”) and “hire” * education will often struggle to keep pace. Our K-12 track in America began to assume its present form in the 1850’s, accelerating after the Civil War.
Our undergraduate institutions, with the possible exception of the Great Books and some liberal arts centric colleges, grew into their present form after the GI Bill in the mid 1940’s, nearly 80 years ago.
The super structures at the core of conventional education (‘schooling’) are often wound tightly in processes dictated by 3rd parties such as accreditation bodies and governmental agencies and their own internal hierarchy which disempowers many, leaving final decision-making in the hands of the few.
Three Proactive Steps to Drive Adaptability
- Take inventory of yourself and your own entrepreneurial story/journey.
Do you understand self-leadership and being an example to others?
Expand your horizons.
Learn, be, and do more (take action!).
This applies to the above trends and numerous others that are very likely to creatively disrupt many industries (e.g., banking, insurance, real estate, and health care).
Think way beyond hiring only W-2 style employees.
Freelancers, part-timers, and people with skills your business needs only periodically, or maybe only once, will keep your organization nimble and responsive to developing trends. You would be wise to use the term “staff” to reflect more appropriately the clear trends in our economy.
I recommend investing time to study this report published by Intuit, as a start.
Every business should make its own proprietary decision on what type of hires it will make.
However, please make no mistake: The 2020s and beyond won’t be driven by W-2 employment nearly to the degree we have experienced over the past 70+ years.
Thank you for reading. It’s an honor to serve you by sharing my specialized passions. If I can be of assistance to you individually, please reach out via my bio. I would be excited to explore how we may be able to help each other.
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