Kloten-Zurich, 4 January 2023.
Another year has passed. We hope you have enjoyed it and you will remember the soccer final in Qatar, as a happy day event! The increase in gas prices, oil prices, and electricity and food bills, remain some of the unhappy facts of 2022.
What will 2023 bring?
1. Lack of Workers
The global labor supply is falling into a deficit. The decline in labor is widespread (except for Africa, and India) and a total shortfall of 43 million workers globally. Besides that, workers are missing the necessary skills and competencies: creativity, critical thinking, interpersonal communication, digital skills, leadership, and humane qualities such as caring and compassion. After the great resignation, the quiet quitting, and now the silent rotation, offering people fulfilling work, ongoing opportunities to grow and learn, flexibility, and a diverse, value-oriented workplace will be the key to success for companies.
2. Invest in Tech and Automation
The accelerated digital transformation leads to more workplace automation that will augment every single job in the world. The time of no worker left behind is still not there. But increased automation will force workers to get more education and training.
3. Chief Experience Officers (CXOs)
Business is all about emotions and experiences. Experience should now be a fundamental element of business strategy. As well as customer experience, businesses increasingly need to think about employee experience as competition for the most talented and skilled workers grows more intense.
4. Sustainability and Supply Chain
In-source manufacturing is the new buzzword. A lot of companies realize that they have to bring back the manufacturing to their own production halls. On the other hand, the vision of green deals and zero emissions is a driver for local supply chains. This year, you will experience that the green deals are not coming for free. Customers and citizens will be asked to pay into the climate funds. Once more, it is important to remind policymakers that sustainability is good, but it leads to a more divided society, and social measures to compensate for the economically weakest citizens are more than needed!
Inflation and recession, the words to remember. The world’s largest economy, the USA, will go into a recession the day the Federal Reserve Bank will start dropping interest rates. Most economists expect a short duration of the US recession. For Europe, it is a darker picture. More painful recession for a longer period of time, with bubbles in the housing and stock market. Be cautious! And yes, everything will continue to become more expensive, since the energy crisis is also a structural problem, and we do not solve it in one year.
6. The Global Gig Economy continues to grow. So, the workforce on demand is there, but competing on price and skills. More and more governments will regulate their status into regular workers.
The sales of rotating tables have exploded over the past months. The workers from home realize that health is a priority. Stream walking. You go and walk with your mobile phone and at the same time participate in an online meeting or conversation with friends, instead of sitting on your sofa. At least, they don’t call me the couch potato anymore!
Soaring deficits will continue through 2023 for many advanced economies. The implications of this budget overstretch are jarring and could lead to a loss of trust in governments. In the long run, this might be dangerous for the social cohesion of society. Also, if governments continue to further increase taxes on the middle class, social cohesion will become a real threat to democracy.
9. Cyberattacks Are Becoming Standard Issues
Therefore, use the standard rules of changing the passwords on a regular basis and don’t accept unknown emails. Another risk for the world is the cheap credit rates and easily given credits in the world. Do expect a credit bubble burst this year!
10. Overall, the USA will continue to lose its world hegemony, and that leads to a more insecure, unstable world. So, discover the new world but take into consideration that the way forward will not be without hiccups. Despite all this, only a message of optimism will bring us forward.
Wishing you all the best for an amazing 2023. Keep on having SBS learning fun!
Bert Wolfs, Ph.D.