Navigating Towards A Sustainable Future
The rules of engagement have changed. Presidential elections are won on social media, students become millionaires while chasing a degree, the ‘screen’ in ‘screen time’ no longer refers to that of a TV, and the speed of mass communication is as fast as a Tweet away. The socio-psychological impact of IoT devices in the global village (a world linked into a single community through telecommunications) is undeniable, and causes one to question what the future may bring, and how we should go about adapting to change.
In fact, now is a good time for one to relook at what People mean to you. If we are to grow towards a sustainable future for our business, we must be empathetic and address the impact that technology has on what we do. Here are some ways in which we can begin navigating towards a more sustainable future:
- Understanding and working with Millennials
The largest generation in our workforce today are the Millennials, and they make up 22% of our resident population. This generational group is known as the segment after Generation X, loosely classified as those born between 1979-2000. They are now economically viable with disposable incomes and families, they crave a work/life balance and are avid content creators and users themselves. These are our consumers, our employees, and our business partners.
Some might echo others that working with them is a mystery as they come into the workforce feeling self-entitled and unaccountable. Perhaps to an older generation workforce, these differences may look like faults and limitations. Instead, one should encourage their individualism, their zest for communicating feelings and passions publicly through blogs and social networks into a hotbed for shared learnings, community and belongingness. Involve them and integrate shared decision making into corporate actions that affect their future with the company. You may be pleasantly surprised by the amount of feedback that they are willing to share and the solutions that could arise from this.
- Surviving the digital divide
Retail experiences (and other consumer purchasing behaviours) now spike heavily towards digital experiences such as the consumption of virtual reality, purchasing from e-commerce marketplaces, and drop-shipping. Being sustainable and relevant in today’s context means having to extract and pivot your value proposition towards a digital front-end experience.
This goes beyond whether going digital is a good approach or not. Rather, this is about how your business can survive, or become future-proof so as to continue operating. Consider investing into and crafting a digital marketing strategy or roadmap that navigates your unique set of challenges, objectives and industry. Put your customer’s digital experience first; and with timely planning and razor-focused execution, you should be able to come out on the right side of this chasm.
- Developing inbound capabilities
When it comes to looking for business, or improving market and consumer reach, we tend to look for agencies or specialists such as a digital company doing SEM, SEO, social media and content marketing. This is because, often, business owners themselves wear many hats rolled into one – Human Resource, Finance, Marketing and Operations driver. As such, they may not have the bandwidth and degree of commitment hired agencies possess with regards to digitisation.
However, relying on an external agency may not solve all your marketing and business problems. Instead, consider creating value within your company by sending your senior employees to boot camps or continued lifelong learning programs that can help with capability development.
Take every opportunity to capitalise on available funding to enhance the learning and self-driven creativity of your staff. Make use of the many training grants provided by Skillsfuture and WSG in order to better equip your key staff to get more out of the agencies you’re partnering with. In turn, this will allow you to eventually develop your own plans or take on new initiatives.
In short, our adaptability to new situations is the characteristic that determines whether we’ll be good at what we do. So, as long as we keep up with changes and constantly challenge our status quo with humility and continuous learning, the future remains bright.
*This article was originally published in Entrepreneurs’ Digest