What will your business communication and operations look like in 10 years? Will the way employees communicate in 2023 be drastically different from now?

Where can you read insights into key business areas that companies need to consider, from organisational structure and innovation to environmental policy?

You’re in the right place.

This week London-based design and communications agency BergHind Joseph shared an ebook with me The Future Front that examines these areas. It’s hot off the press, so you’re among the first to read it.

The 45 page document looks to the future and offers insight into what business communication will look like 10 years from now.

My key takeaway from the publication is:

“being agile with the ability to respond to a rapidly changing way of working will be key”

There are some fairly bold statements in the publication and I’m not convinced by all of them, however, I’m sharing it for you to read through and pick and choose what is relevant for you/your organisation.

Here’s an extract to whet your appetite:

“The prediction is that employees will become ‘information junkies’ and conversations will be driven more by technology.

They will exist in ‘real time’ but become more informal in nature. This will make the old organisational structure and communication channels obsolete as employees overtly choose to listen to people who have a good reputation and equally have something interesting to say.”

I not convinced that traditional communication channels will become obsolete, they will more likely adapt and evolve.

However, I agree that employees choose to listen to people who have a good reputation and something interesting to say – that happens now.

I’m curious to see whether communication in the future will happen according to job titles or skills.

For example if there is someone in your organisation who is influential on certain topics, yet their job title doesn’t ‘allow’ them to be part of the original conversation, that’s when I think it gets really interesting.

We are starting to see, particularly through enterprise social networks, new tribes forming in organisations where employees are discovering new groups and people to connect with, be that through shared hobbies, skills or interests.

I’m not sure whether we will see job titles done away with in the future, but certainly welcome the idea that employees are encouraged to participate, shape and influence the direction of the company and their own work efforts based on what they know, particularly when it falls outside of their original remit.

That, to me, is the future of communication, with a huge focus on conversations.

I could write a lot more on this, but will focus on the ebook for now and perhaps share more of my thinking on this topic in a later article.

Sophie Hurrell-Smith, Marketing Manager at BergHind Joseph said: “This book will enable individuals and organisations to plan and prepare for the changes in the business landscape leading up to the next 10 years.

“One of the most important ideas to realise is that come 2023, three generations will be in the workplace. It is predicted that Millennials will drive channels that stimulate conversation and encourage two-way dialogue – so social media will have a much bigger role to play.

In addition to this we could see more informal channels – like SMS messaging – coming in to force. Channels such as this will bypass the traditional communication routes and could result in a marked shift (and challenge) in how organisations reach out to their employees, ensure everyone is informed and that a level playing field exists.

“Moving away from the generational effect, with the lines between ‘work’ and ‘life’ become increasingly blurred and as businesses globally source talent in a bid to recruit the very best (in the ‘talent war’), channels such as Skype, video and virtual conferencing will become increasingly prevalent as working across time zones, cultures and work/home locations intensifies.”

Get your copy of The Future Front

You can download The Future Front here. (Press the save button when the black box appears and you’ll have a copy). Do let me know what you think of it, you can comment below, tweet me @AllthingsIC or the agency @berghindjoseph . You can also download it directly from the agency’s website and follow conversation about it via Twitter #futurefront.

I’m going to leave you with a video that the company produced, because I like it. It looks at Why use video for business communication? and fits with the theme of the ebook.

Rachel Miller

Published on the All Things IC blog: April 2013.

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