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Every hundred fifty to two hundred years, forces of progress collide and something remarkable has emerged. The Ancient Greeks named these epochs: Kairos — times of dramatic peril where leaders who are tuned to change seize opportunity to shape the future. The 2020s will be  a period of Kairos. Here are five steps to building an organisation that will thrive in the 2020s:
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Build a culture of innovation and exploration

Adapt to the Seven Forces Changing Everything

Be a force for good

Be Inclusive









01 Be a Force for Good 

People who say business should have a positive impact on society

93 %

People who wouldn’t care if brands disappeared

77 %

Millennials that would take a pay-cut to work for a company with a meaningful purpose

65 %

Annual economic value, in US dollars, if business achieve the UN's  SDGs


Since 2016 impact investments 
have grown 34% worldwide to total over


Number of leading companies
signed the Business Roundtable's stakeholder purpose statement 


Doing well, by doing good has gone mainstream. By the end of this decade companies that are not positive contributor to society will loose advantage. The very role of business in society is being reinvented and Peter Drucker may have captured it best: “Every single pressing social and global issue of our time is a business opportunity.”



Unite humans and machines. Blending people and technology capabilities by upskilling the workforce with higher level human skills that technology can not provide. 
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Intrapreneurs will be the most valuable employee in the 2020s. But most companies have processes that stymie their impact. The champions focus on allowing innovation to become embedded within their DNA. Leaders recognise that innovation is not a thing, but rather part of their culture and how they do things.
Six areas of focus strengthen the evolution towards a culture of exploration and innovation:
  1. Venerate problems over ideas 
  2. Develop a Shared definition of innovation
  3. Recognise that everyone plays a role in innovation 
  4. Cool components of innovation must be balanced
  5. Leaders must be capable and accountable
  6. Measure innovation 
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2) Up to 20 million jobs around the world could be replaced by robots by 2030, according to analysis firm Oxford Economics.

4) The average age is rising globally impacting workforce productivity. Coronavirus will place further strain on health care services and society's social fabric. 

6) Coronavirus is unravelling globalisation as we know it. The pandemic is politicising travel, immigration and entrenching a bias towards nationalism and self-reliance. 

7) Pandemic populism is on the rise across the world a new study warns. The politics of the outbreak are more variable than the virus and In the long run., populism could also be a far more dangerous disruptive force

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1)  Pandemics are the result of two trends: urbanisation and species destruction. They are predictable and can and will come from anywhere

3) Coronavirus will push unemployment up across the board with the World Bank predicting 40-60 million people into extreme poverty. The  first increase in global poverty since 1998

5) The climate emergency has taken a back seat as policy-makers focus on containing the pandemic. But the problem isn’t going away. The coronavirus has shown us the scale of the response needed to fight the climate crisis


While most companies profess to have D&I programmes, only 25% of diverse employees believe they have benefitted. The growth of women in senior and board levels of leadership has stagnated over the past ten years. There has been little progress in gender diversity over the past ten years. The average share of women in leadership roles in big companies increasing only 1% from 26% to 27% between 2009 and 2018

But studies demonstrate a clear correlation between the diversity of management teams and an organisation’s degree of innovation. In addition those companies have higher EBIT and profit margins than companies with below-average diversity in their leadership teams 

+9% EBIT at companies with above average diversity in their leadership teams

+6% net profit margin at companies in which 30% of leadership roles are held by women     

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+19% innovation at companies with above average diversity in their leadership teams 

Achieving agility, innovation and resilience through diversity is crucial for succeeding in the 2020s. However D&I remains an under leveraged opportunity. D&I must become a business imperative. Leaders need to establish the workplace that allows people to embrace and support diversity initiatives. Like innovation has to be part of an organisations DNA for it to be sustainable, so to must D&I become part of the social fabric of organisations. 


The 2020s will be a decade of disruption as technology, geopolitical and social trends collide to create new organisational and societal realities. The leaders who are tuned to change will seize opportunity. Inspiring a strong sense of purpose and delivering meaningful benefits to all stakeholders will be vital.  


Leaders must amplify distinct human capabilities and discover synergies inherent in human–machine collaboration. That means fashioning a bionic enterprise, one that augments technology and people in ways that bring out the best in each.


Investing in a culture of innovation and embedding this within the organisation’s DNA as a natural manifestation of how things are done will build a strong foundation. Embracing diversity especially cognitive and gender, will speed-up and strengthen results.


None of this is easy, but the result will be organisations that are able to learn, unlearn and relearn faster than their rivals, thrive in the face of uncertainty, and continually evolve to deliver remarkable results.

Explore more topics in the #winthe20s series #ttcinsights
Optimise for both social and business impact
Seven skills needed to build a bionic organisation
Six steps for building a culture of innovation
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