Why do we need to pay a lot more attention to 2023?

As the Pandemic seems to wind towards a close, there are a lot of people seeing the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.” But where is that light really coming from? Is it the end of the tunnel – or a a train powered by competitive and market forces with which you are about to collide?

The initial indications, especially when monitoring the discussion about hybrid workplaces, aren’t pretty.

Most of the discussion about hybrid has focused inward – mainly on trying to do enough to satisfy employees while making the minimal possible changes to business and operational models. But not everyone is going to go this route. Others will seek advantage – either by shedding financial overheads and geographic constraints by going remote-first, others by taking highly-disciplined office-based stances.

It’s not just about “hybrid” – it’s about deeper dynamics like the upcoming battle between networks and hierarchies. The conversation about purpose morphing into an embrace of organizational ideology. The requirement for increased diversity just as organizations require tighter and more instinctive alignment. And a reshuffling of the generational deck just as millennials and “zoomers” are anticipating their ascendance.

2022 will see at most some early post-pandemic adjustments. 2023 will see this future hit high speed.