What businesses are going to be the best in the future?

What businesses are going to be the best in the future?

I was asked this at a business meeting last week, and although I thought I knew an answer, the number of different answers around the table made me question if I had even really considered it at all.

I work in a paper-heavy business and we are going through scanning 30,000 large files, to walk towards being paperless. Nothing new I hear you say. The obvious conclusion from that is programmers and scanners that relate to the many businesses that are paper and file dependent will have work for the foreseeable.

Looking through the costs and set up fees for the right scanner, software, training and servicing, it is easy to think that being in one of those is going to produce work for many years to come.

Yet the salesperson still had to contribute an understanding and interpretation, enough to help me get to grips with what I was signing this new lease contract for.

Would I be setting myself up to be trapped by the software provider, what about the scanner, after I have scanned the bulk of my files?

This thought led me to realise that the information we can find online is infinite, but the interpretation of how it works with each business is another.

One Will drafter was concerned that Wills would become digital in the years ahead. I do believe that to be so. However, the content of the electronic Will, video, signature, placement, style and even exclusions, will all need to be interpreted and structured or it can’t work.

The real work in the future is guiding. Helping people make decisions, reflection of goals, interpretation of facts, extrapolation of outcomes and even moral conjecture. These are difficult to digitise. I’d even say impossible.

The emotive foreplay before a decision is best seen through the eyes of others. Sharing ideas and weighing up the outcomes are often referred to as facilitating. This is something a coach does best.

The businesses of the future that will unlikely be replaced are creativity, coaching, teaching and motivating. Sooner or later we will find much of what we do replaced by computers.  I know though that I shall be struggling to work big ideas or projects without the consultancy of wisdom from others.

I know that I rely on others motivating me and that I can get motivated by encouraging others. I’m amazed that 1+1 ideas often equals three ideas. That sharing problems halves them.

We all concluded that talking, listening, extrapolation, guiding, being a moral compass and even just asking the right questions, will all be currency of the future.

How does your business stack up to this? Is it congruent with your purpose and ethical stance? Does it fit your lifetime goals as being necessary or just wanted?

Just ask yourself, does your future look brighter knowing this?

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