Trends for 2018 and Beyond


Being a researcher gives me a unique insight into the trends, behaviours and possibilities which are coming and will affect all aspects of peoples’ work, lives and organisations. I spent much of last year looking at how large organisations contract and deliver services and it is the insights from the numerous projects The Halo Works   completed in this field which make up these thoughts about the coming trends.

I see three strong trends coming through, they are: data driven output models, small, micro and third sector delivery growth and an ability and desire to look from the outside in.  To make these work people and organisations with the ability to be flexible, positive and with excellent organisational ability are the ones to back and who will thrive in the next five years.

So taking the trends one at a time, what does this mean?

Data Driven Output Models

Amazon is now one of the bigger suppliers to Government of data services. This is in part because they fully understand data and can offer up attractive propositions using their expert knowledge.  UK taxpaying businesses should not let them have it all their own way though, there are excellent ways of devising and using data driven output models, and the more straightforward and clear the better.  This is what we call Halo driven measures and if you are not using this type of measure then you need to get to it as they are cheaper, more efficient and motivating than transactional or notional (net promoter type) ones.

Small, Micro and Third Sector Delivery Growth

In theory it is easier to manage an in-house team, in practice this often is not the case, when; they are geographically disparate, working in skilled professions where they can just as easily (and possibly more profitably) work for themselves and when they are being managed to a contract rather than by a values based approach.   Currently large contracts tend to be, to quite one very wise person I interviewed recently; “large and rectangular” but the chances of making these work as well in the future seems optimistic.  We have benefited from skilled labour coming in from Europe and this may not be the case in the future, to the same extent.  There is a move to self-employment and a desire to live a more self-directed work life. Harnessing this trend to deliver to large organisations will be key in the future.

An Ability and Desire to Look from the Outside In

Organisations have spent quite a lot of time being introspective which can help fix issues but now is the time to look and understand what it is like to be on the outside looking in to organisations. We have seen over the last couple of years what happens when those outside feel marginalised, and taking the first two trends and applying this thinking it is vital that there is real understanding about how organisations look to those outside and, if required, reshape themselves to better meet the needs of the wider World.  We spend our time doing just this for organisations as it helps them make better decisions and be equipped for whatever the future holds.  This idea needs to be applied across the board, including in Public Sector organisations.  Getting this right will help organisations bring in the right people, attract the sort attentions and users they want and be more efficient as they will not be fighting a rear guard action but moving forward positively.