A Look into the Future with Edie Weiner – Three Big Trends to Monitor

Think about these key questions for a moment:

  • How do you align long-term goals with short-term deliverables when things are changing so fast?
  • How do you define individual productivity in today’s environment?
  • What is currency and can you define three new forms of currency not created at Fort Knox?

From Left: Laura Del Rio (SAP Global Lead Industries Partner Enablement), Lily Klebanoff Blake ( Chair, FWA Presidents Circle and Corporate Sponsorships), Patti Mittelman (Co-chair, FWA Professional Development Committee), Maureen Emmert Adolf (FWA President), Edie Weiner (Guest Speaker and President of Weiner, Edrich, Brown Inc.), Sharon Lewis ( Co-chair, Professional Development Committee), Cathy Cooper (SAP Senior Director, Marketing Operations) and Debbie Schmidt (SAP Global Vice President, Human Resources Line of Business).

This, and more, were the topics of conversation on November 13 when SAP, an FWA President’s Circle member, hosted an event with the FWA entitled, “View from the Future: Professional and Personal Perspectives.”

Futurist Edie Weiner, president of Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc., is a leader in identifying change, tracking trends, and helping organizations take action.

To put it mildly, she captivated the room. Her comments touched on a wide variety of subjects that left the audience excited and prompted them to reflect on the impact of current and future change in both their professional and personal lives.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • For now” encapsulates our approach to personal and professional pursuits these days — Career tenure is defined by months or a “couple of years.” The gig economy, micro-jobbing and the short-term roles held by the freelancers of today and tomorrow support Ms. Weiner’s coining of the term “templosion,” used to describe this shortening of the time perspective. The implications of short-term thinking and doing things for a shorter period of time are far-reaching for all levels of the workforce.

At the C-suite level, leaders take on far-reaching roles with a tenure that lasts three-to-five years. What will this mean for our business strategies? How do “interim leaders” align long-term goals with short-term deliverables when things are changing so fast?

Ms. Weiner postulated that “in a time of rapid and massive change, formal planning becomes an exercise in futility.” Does it? We’ve grown accustomed to-instant gratification, which crosses into all aspects of our everyday lives. We apologize for taking an hour to respond to an email. Deliveries from afar arrive within 24 hours and customized products are built per individual specifications.

Debbie Schmidt, (SAP Global Vice President, Human Resources Line of Business; and Cathy Cooper (SAP Senior Director, Marketing Operations) listen to Ms. Weiner.

How do these examples influence our concept of time? Or demands on our time and our expectations of productivity within time frames?

  • Innovative technology has changed the definition of individual productivity—Respected jobs of yesterday no longer exist, while today’s graduates compete for new jobs requiring new skills. The model of large corporations employing individuals across a multi-year career or lifetime career are going the way of the rotary telephone!

All of this presents training opportunities within alternative disciplines and thinking styles. New models of workplace management and outcome measurements are being tested in forward thinking workplaces.

Combined with “templosion,” what must we do as professionals to demonstrate our economic worth?

As employers, what processes are needed to ensure the proper balance of technology, people and change? And, as an economy, what is the impact of this on our daily lifestyles?

  • Payment for these experiences and performances is changing—Previously referred to as “funny money”…. tweets, the virtual reality currencies used with gamification and reward-program points have become leading forms of currency. What does this mean to business evaluations? To the theories of supply, demand and trade? What impact will this have on cyber violations?

Ms. Weiner noted the misuse of the term cyber security and also suggested that cyber “insecurity” is the reality.

Edie Weiner (Guest Speaker and President of Weiner, Edrich, Brown Inc.) addresses attendees.

Attendees agreed that the effects of these evolving trends will challenge their assumptions and beliefs forevermore.
Those interested in learning more about Edie’s work can reference her global best-seller book: FutureThink.

Congratulations to all involved and to all who attended. Thank you SAP and the SAP New York City Business Women’s Network!