The 10 Hot Topics for business in 2024
2023 has been a challenging year for business, the environment, and society itself. But what does 2024 have in store? Here’s our annual take on the hottest of hot topics for the year ahead…
1. Belonging: The biggest question for business in 2024 will be how to create a culture of belonging. Over half of employees of every age would leave an organisation if they didn’t feel they belonged, according to Randstad’s research. At the same time, belonging can reduce turnover risk by around 50% according to Deloitte. If you want to attract colleagues and keep them, focus on belonging.
2. Transformation rediscovers its humanity: We know from the PwC CEO survey that leaders think they need to be spending as much as 50% of their time reinventing their organisations. We also know from EY research that human-centred transformation massively increases the odds of success. No brainer. But first you need to define your transformational priorities and build skills in behaviour change.
3. Future-proofing: The Accenture 2023 CEO survey said today’s leaders were wrestling with 10 or more global challenges to their business. That’s not going to ease up in 2024, or ever. Apart from anything else, we have elections in the UK and the US on the horizon. The only thing organisations can do is continually have their finger on the pulse of context and get resilient. Am I confident organisations will get more professional in this space? No. But we’ll talk about it some more.
4. High-impact ESG: The hot topic in ESG is a “backlash”, with some commentators describing a lot of ESG initiatives as “woke”. Ignore the commentators. Investors aren’t softies. What is needed though is a focus on the ESG topics that have greatest impact on each organisation, an alignment to organisational purpose, and greater engagement of citizens, customers and colleagues. The most recent KPMG sheep-dip poll of CEOs revealed that 24% believe ESG will have the greatest impact on customer relationships over the next three years. Changemakers can help make that happen.
5. AI wonder-panic: A new 20-minute documentary by Alan Warburton, “The Wizard of AI”, explores, with the help of AI, the human impact of the technology. It’s described as “wonder-panic”, the awe of enjoying the wonders of genius while fearing what it might do. No let up on this front in 2024, as we seek to balance human and artificial intelligence.
6. Reinventing the world of work: The long journey to accepting the new reality of work continues. But in 2024 we have a new approach that will help – six key steps to help you create a more human organisation – backed up with a new cultural diagnostic tool. Join us on the journey.
7. Communities of intrapreneurs: A common challenge we are spotting is the ability of changemakers to leverage wide involvement of their peers. I think over the next year, we’ll become smarter at creating communities of intrapreneurs within organisations to effect real change.
8. Adaptation takes centre stage: In December 2023, the National Audit Office said the UK Government was not adequately prepared for climate disasters. That’s a worry when the frequency and scale of extreme weather events is dramatically increasing (for example, over the last decade, the US has experienced a billion-dollar disaster every 18 days). My gut feel is that this is another hot topic that those in power will talk a lot about, but do little. Prove me wrong.
9. Storytelling: It’s time to create cultures where the energy emerges from colleagues. And the best way to do that is through storytelling. Stories are real, they reveal beliefs, they carry emotion, they are memorable, they grab attention, and they lead to action. Go big on storytelling in 2024 and you’ll be worshipped at the altar of common sense.
10. Make connections: My final hot topic is the rediscovery of the critical importance of the social part of our human nature. People are compelled to connect. The longest study of its kind suggests that it’s the secret to happiness. And other work shows it’s the secret to health and wellbeing. So, let’s create environments that make that happen.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into any or all of these hot topics, and discuss what they mean for your business, we’d love to chat. Just let Elaine know on firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporate Culture Group