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5 Predictions for 2019

December 19, 2018

Posted in: WATSON Views

By: Rachel O’Connor, Practice Lead – CEO Leadership and Performance

The end of one year and the start of another is traditionally a time when we look back and reflect, and think forward about what’s to come.

I do tend to make a resolution or two – less about climbing K2 or writing my bestseller, and more about thinking about how I’d like to grow and stretch a little.

As I start to think about what those will be for 2019, I’m also thinking about what the year will bring, at home, at work and in the world.

In my own backyard of WATSON and more specifically in my practice area of Leadership and Performance, here’s what I’m anticipating will show up for us in 2019:

  • More talk about of the board’s role in innovation: If innovation is on every organization’s agenda, directors need to be able to guide and oversee this strategic imperative.  There are challenges to this that run deep – from time and process, to composition and relationships.  In 2019 we’ll see more emerging best practices, and WATSON is looking forward to continuing its work here.
  • A deeper look at culture risk and opportunity: The research around culture is telling us a clear story.  It’s a huge lever for ethics, safety, risk, performance (and yes, innovation).  So how do we measure, align and optimize it?  How do boards and executives get real insight into what’s working and what isn’t?  I anticipate that in 2019 we’ll be helping more organizations get a handle on this one.
  • Dashboards, dashboards and more dashboards: Organizations are harnessing their data and analytics – most have now invested in the tools.  Now it’s time to get focused, intuitive and well-presented views of that data into the hands of executives and directors, to guide decisions and oversight.
  • More change demands stronger teams at every level:  As the pace of change is accelerating and specialization continues to deepen, we need the power of many different brains and skills working together.  We need to form and reform teams on a continuous basis.  That’s true at all levels, from the front line to the boardroom.  Skills in team effectiveness are crucial.  We’ll be talking about them in different ways in 2019 – agile teams in unconventional places, teams at the top leading together, boards actively working on their dynamics and teaming.
  • Diversity means more than you think:  We’ve all been on a collective journey around diversity and inclusion.  Bit by bit, organizations have improved and have seen tangible benefit.  But we are far from done.  There’s still lots of work to do around demographic inclusion and diversity – and increasingly we are seeing the importance (and business impact) of experiential diversity and cognitive diversity.  It will be interesting to see how leaders at all levels move the strategy and experience forward on this front in 2019.

That’s 5!  Need more?  Digital continues to impact everything… organization structures are evolving, and with that traditional accountability and performance measurement… legal and socio-economical structures are being redrawn… and yes, our planet is warming and changing.

What stays the same is the enjoyment of great partnerships and the satisfaction of doing good work.

Let’s do more of it together in 2019.

Rachel