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During the last several years, three megatrends have increasingly gained speed, yet very few people actually discuss them or understand how to deal with them.


Trends are evident in business.

The fashion industry, for instance, lives and dies on seasonal changes from short skirts to bold patterns to platform shoes.

Yet in business, what is really important are megatrends.

In his 1982 book, “Megatrends,” author John Naisbitt defines megatrends as “a general shift in thinking or approach affecting countries, industries, and organizations.”

During the last several years, three megatrends have increasingly gained speed, yet very few people actually discuss them or understand how to deal with them.

First, a little background is required to understand what is happening within the global marketplace.

Corporate Social Responsibility

With the forthcoming retirement of the majority of the U.S. workforce, finding qualified replacements is going to become extremely competitive and very expensive.

Generation Y — those born after 1980 — are now making employment decisions based upon the usual factors and, in some cases, something new: corporate social responsibility (CSR).

In years past, companies demonstrated corporate social responsibility – beyond paying their local, state, and federal taxes – in their interactions within the community and by being good stewards of their people and their environment.

Now, incoming employees want to see CSR extend to the impact of all decisions on the environment.

This is indeed a general shift not only in organizations but in entire industries and even countries.

As such, corporate social responsibility is one of the three emerging megatrends.

Sustainability Strategies

Even if a company does not generate a product that may negatively impact the environment, there are still what are now called sustainability strategies to lessen that organization’s overall impact on the environment.

In other words, organizations that deliver sustainable results based upon their people, processes, and environment will benefit from increased profits.

Consequently, sustainability is the second megatrend.

The federal government is now requiring Sustainability Performance Plans (SSPPs) for contractors who wish to secure federal contract bids.

A recent global survey on the prevalence of SSPPs was conducted by KPMG, a national tax and advisory firm.

The results of this survey reported that over 30 percent of businesses do not have sustainability plans.

However, 50 percent of those same surveyed executives believe such plans will positively benefit the bottom line.

Today’s bottom line is no longer just profits, but three-fold:

1. People

2. Processes

3. Environment

The Bottom Line: Change How We Think

These three revenue and cost streams now have their own separate functionalities.

They are key to the ever-growing sustainability of any organization and overall corporate social responsibility.

As a result, changing how we think about the bottom line is the third megatrend.

Understanding these megatrends can help the smallest to the largest organizations.

Awareness of these significant shifts in mindset is critical for organizations that strive to be forward-thinking and want to set themselves apart.

About the author

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith has over 25 years in sales. Her true joy is selling and…

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