As a boss, you have the choice of how to lead your business. You can choose to stick to old processes or to create an environment of adaptability. Of course, the latter will see bigger returns, even if it requires a bigger investment. Everyday, our society welcomes new technological updates, and with each update, we shift enormously. It’s up to you to stay on top of changing times and meet your customers’ evolving needs.
Will you be a boss of the past and stick to dying conventions or embrace the coming change by becoming a boss of the future? Not sure? Here’s a little more about what the boss of the future will look like, and why it’s time for you to start thinking like one.
- The boss of the future will lead a geographically distributed team.As mobile communications reach new heights, the traditional office space must be reconsidered. Not only does a remote workforce reduce overhead costs, but it’s been proven to increase productivity. A recent study by Stanford Professor Nicholas Bloom charted 250 employees for Ctrip, a Chinese travel website, half of whom worked remotely and half who worked in the office. Over the nine-month study, the telecommuters charted 13.5% more calls, 10% better performance, and overall better job satisfaction than the in-house team – saving the company a total of $1,900 per employee. A remote team allows you to source employees – and contract, specialist workers – from all over the world, increasing your talent pool, as well as your company’s global perspective.
- The boss of the future will defy the 9-5.
According to a recent article by workplace expert Alexandra Levit, “By around 2030, the Millennial majority will likely have done away with the 9-to-5 workday entirely.” In her article, she cites a study by Bentley Universitywhich found that 77% of Millennials agree flexible work hours make the workplace more productive for people their age. “Given their comfort with digital technology that allows them to work anytime and anywhere, this statistic hardly comes as a surprise,” says Levit.Not only will offering a flexible schedule turn around the poor millennial retention rates (which are currently costing companies thousands of dollars), but it will help companies attract top talent. With so many millennial-led companies offering flexible arrangements, businesses that have been around longer will need to update their scheduling policies to stay competitive in their recruiting efforts.
- The boss of the future will embrace technology.A recent TAB survey on cloud computing revealed that 33% of entrepreneurs have never used cloud technology for their business.“This study is a real eye opener,” says TAB New Zealand President Stephen James. “Respondents using the cloud say it makes their workforce more productive and better able to service their customers’ needs. One third of businesses are missing out on these advantages, and it will only be a matter of time before this starts to impact on their bottom lines.”The study also found that of the 67% of business owners who are currently using cloud systems, over 81% rate their satisfaction with the technology as above average.
“Avoiding technology can severely limit your business’s progress,” says TAB Member Rick Maher, CEO and Partner at Effective Human Resources. “In the early stages of our business, we were too slow to setup credit card and recurring payments. With no control over when we received payment, our receivables lag time was atrocious. Switching exclusively to credit card payment streamlined our cashflow and collections process. Since then, our retention has increased from 4 months to over 18. Keeping up with technology is key to the stability and growth of any business.”
The future is coming, and it’s coming fast; it’s up to you to move your company forward. If you’re having trouble embracing new technology or keeping up with evolving business trends, it may be time to seek out outside leadership advice. The Alternative Board is a global peer-to-peer advisory service that establishes boards of local business owners, so they can help each other overcome business challenges and sieze opportunities. If you’re interested in becoming a boss of the future, contact a local TAB board to get in touch with other business owners who can help you adapt.