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Five Trends and Predictions from Business Leaders for 2023

by Georgia Smith February 07, 2023

​At Freshminds’ annual Strategy Dinner, we attempt to curb the unpredictable by asking our guests, senior business leaders within the strategy and consulting space, the all-important question, “what do businesses need to look out for in 2023?”

And they didn’t disappoint. Here are a few honourable mentions:

  • Deglobalisation may continue to increase prices within international supply chains

  • PERMA change becomes an essential consideration for new jobs

  • D&I qualifications will set a new precedent within senior leadership

  • Businesses shouldn’t neglect the power of physical spaces

From the increasing weight given to D&I experience to greater financial strain on globalised supply chains, their predictions span both sector and functionality.

Below we explore 5 of the most consistent trends of the night.

1) The future is here, and it’s built on AI tech.

If you’ve spent any time online in the last month, you’ll have heard the thrum of conversations about ChatGPT.

With an estimated 100 million users in its first week, it became “the fastest growing consumer internet application in history, according to a UBS study.”

Is it simply a novelty? Well, with the introduction of a new pricing tier to monetise its function and a number of copycat versions popping up online, we doubt it.

And already, questions are being asked about how AI may affect professions like programming and journalism, considering its content accuracy. One of our guests suggested that by the end of the year, 25% of journalists will be using the tool.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. In a recent article, Lynne Parker, Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of Tennessee, comments on the positive use of AI.

This suggests a huge untapped potential for creativity and the importance of making creative and knowledge work accessible to all.

AI may alleviate the burden of small daily tasks in much the same way automation has, as well as break down knowledge gatekeeping. It could become a fully customisable Wikipedia for the 21st century.

We expect the conversation around tech this year to focus on the balance between the convenience of technology and the more tangible living experience; the business world is not immune to this.

2) The jury’s still out on the hybrid working model.

Can the 9 to 5 working model be revived globally? Not quite.

But we are seeing interesting working trends emerge around remote vs office environments. Whether it’s the 4-day working week trial or Elon Musk demanding everyone return to Twitter HQ, there’s a spectrum emerging.

One of our guests had noted a growing trend in young millennials and Generation Z who were taking advantage of offices on Fridays, largely to soak up the recreational buzz of a social city on a Friday evening. Is this the first green shoot of resurgence for the office environment?

This year, many organisations will continue to grapple with their own version of a hybrid working model; the challenge, of course, is that personal preferences will always differ.

3) Investment in women’s sports.

Will we see a greater investment in women’s sports in 2023? Some of our connections certainly believe so.

Many of us will remember the iconic moment when Chloe Kelly celebrated her goal at the UEFA Women’s Euro Final in 2022, winning England the cup. For viewers watching, whether in stands or behind a screen, it felt like a monumental shift in the way women’s sport is consumed and appreciated.

And data shows the Women’s Euro tournament racked up a record-breaking 365 million watchers. Sky Sports and the BBC currently share the viewing rights to the WSL, which is worth around £7.5 million. A value which continues to grow and shows that women’s sports can be profitable; it can be good for business.

As our guest mentioned, this could be a “transformational time” for women’s sports, from the IPL in India to the WSL in England.

4) The fashion industry becomes green(er).

One conversation that isn’t going away in 2023 is environmental responsibility in business. And this discussion is particularly loud within the fashion industry, which has been criticised for its model of ‘fast fashion’.

Consumers want organisations to take real and tangible steps towards cleaner manufacturing - whether that takes the form of second-hand clothing companies like Vinted, policies like H&M’s ‘Collect, Recirculate, Recycle’, or exciting startups using sustainable materials like algae.

One thing young consumers are particularly suspicious of is greenwashing. Therefore, company-customer transparency is essential. We suspect this will become increasingly important for the Gen Z demographic, so investing in sustainability now could grant you more business security in the future.

5) Career pathways become more candidate-centric.

Our traditional views of career pathways may be reimagined in the next few years.

We’ve already come a long way from the linear and structured careers of the late 20th century, where organisation loyalty was at an all-time high.

But with the rise of remote work, freelancing opportunities, and huge steps in tech, workers now have greater autonomy when it comes to their career choices. And we’ve already seen this emerge from younger generations, where working patterns have become increasingly cyclical, and ‘job-hopping’ has become the norm.

According to a Career Builder survey, for millennials (25-40) the average time spent at a job is 2 years and 9 months, while baby boomers (57-75) spent 8 years and 3 months at a job.

From an employer’s perspective, this is somewhat of a challenge (although not an unhappy one). It means that hiring managers may have to think a little more carefully about what an “ideal” candidate looks like and evaluate their green and red flagging.

At Freshminds, we aren’t strangers to these changing employment patterns because we work with both clients and candidates every day. Learn more about attracting the right candidate here.

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