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While the dust has largely settled from the pandemic, the reworking of work that it set in motion is still going strong as companies and employees attempt to navigate their different needs and interests. Across the board, workers’ levels of stress and disengagement are at a high, as many are facing economic pressures, workplace tensions and unsatisfying team culture. For leaders, the need for intentional engagement with teams is pressing, and for workers the stakes are high.
The Return to Offices Revealing ‘The Great Mismatch’
Google’s recent update to its hybrid work policy has sparked backlash among workers and the public as it announced that in-person office attendance will be factored into performance reviews. Frustrated employees feel that the new policy represents an overly rigid approach to physical attendance by management.
We all know the importance of a ‘why’. For individuals and organisations alike, clarifying purpose is essential as a way of orienting goals and strategies, unifying teams and incentivising action. Many organizations have attempted to answer the ‘Why do we exist?’ question by crafting vision or mission statements, but these are all-too-often a concoction of policies, practices, strategic aims and goals. True driving purpose, however, is more fundamental, long-term and even philosophical than these things.
Years ago, I released a book named Memento that took me way out of my comfort zone. Unlike my previous nonfiction business books, Memento was for a completely new market and required an entirely different approach. It was a giftbook journal featuring a series of questions designed to prompt parents to write down their life stories as a keepsake for their children. Ten months after signing a big publishing deal with Chronicle Books in San Francisco, my family and I packed up and headed to the U.S. for a PR tour leading up to the book’s release.
While the media flurry took the predictable form of radio and print interviews, one appearance that popped into my PR calendar intrigued me. It was to record an infomercial on the Home Shopping Network. When the day of filming arrived, I caught a plane to Fort Lauderdale in Florida. At the airport, I was met by a driver who whisked me straight to the studios for hair and makeup. Little did I know how fascinating the experience would be.
Since the advent of ChatGPT last year, few things have dominated the public discussion in the tech and business world more than generative AI and chatting with robots. This comes as no surprise considering how genuinely revolutionary the technology is and radically fast the uptake has been within the public.
Comparing ChatGPT’s success to other major companies gives some indication of how monumental it has been. Within 5 days it had reached 5 million users – for Netflix, acquiring this customer base took 3.5 years.
However, ChatGPT is not even the tip of the iceberg when compared what else is out there and what else there is to come. There are over 11000 AI apps built on language models like ChatGPT, which successfully achieve tasks all the way from planning logistics to creating artworks.
Across the board, organisations are changing. Post-pandemic workplace practices, changing tech trends and generational shifts are impacting the way organisations must run and respond to the world. Local governments are not exempt from the trends dominating the workplace and the world at large, which represent a whole new set of opportunities, or threats, for those paying attention.
Here are 5 trends local governments need to watch.
In an era increasingly defined by scandal, hypocrisy and betrayals of public trust, customers are increasingly holding corporations to high standards of integrity. Businesses and brands can no longer afford to cut ethical corners, fall short of marketing promises or fail to practise what they preach. In an age of skepticism and transparency, what customers are craving from their companies is congruence.
In order to build the trust and rapport with customers that has been so often compromised, businesses and brands need clear sets of values that they are committed to upholding. Without clear values to guide conduct and culture, it’s easy to lose our way, lose sight of the things that really count and subsequently lose the trust of those who matter most.
Within an economy increasingly characterised by precarity and uncertainty, the growing class of creators represents an alternative approach to money-making to traditional employment. Largely driven by Gen Zs, who are increasingly turning away from conventional career paths and towards options with greater independence and flexible, the creator economy continues to work its way into the mainstream.
A kind of gig economy for digital spaces, the creator economy involves those individuals who are using online platforms to publish and monetise content. Posted on platforms like Instragram, TikTok, YouTube, Patreon and Substack, the content of the creator economy is as diverse as the creators producing it. Whether through subscriptions, brand partnerships or advertising, creators are able to generate income through the appeal of their content.
The fashion industry’s history of highly homogenised models has been an object of wide criticism for years now. Companies have made clear efforts to diversify the identities and appearances of the models representing their brands in order to more inclusive of the wider population.
Recent integration of AI within some of the world’s big fashion brands is seeing the diversification of models and the representation of customers become a much more viable reality. In partnership with AI company Lalaland.ai, Levi Strauss & Co is trialling a new approach to modelling their denim, using AI fashion models in place of humans.