Inspiring and empowering people in the next decade – looking at society, business and people by 2020+

Defining Human Mindsets
As a futurist I have developed a system for trend mapping to define human mindsets in order to gain a deeper understanding of people’s behaviour and needs. Adopting this system within a coaching context provides new tools and building blocks for navigating the future.

A New Value Universe
We are entering an era where value sets are shifting – a cognitive shift where new lifestyle choices and business models will emerge. Since we already know that money alone can’t buy happiness we are looking elsewhere for emotional wellbeing and greater meaning in every aspect of life. This brings huge opportunities in helping people achieve higher levels of personal fulfilment, but it also challenges our societal value universe.

Empathic Leadership
It is not enough to tell people where happiness is on the map. Empathic leadership is a vital factor to facilitate, educate and inspire that journey – it is also the fundamental driver to the 21st-century’s striving businesses and societies. People simply want empowerment, and with that personal wellbeing, has become a new religion already informing lifestyle preferences.

Informed Intuition
However profound contrasts co-exist. Our society is both fast and slow – seeking efficiency and material accomplishment on the one hand, and quality of life and meaning on the other. To balance these contrasts, it is essential to practise Whole Brain thinking. For far too long society has banked on left-brain thinking only, relying on quantifiable data, while starving the more visionary right side of the brain, which is informed by intuition and imagination.

Navigating The Future
Applying Whole Brain thinking enables you to navigate the future and tune into people’s real needs in a holistic manner. We consider the key Scientific,Social, Emotional and Spiritual drivers shaping our world both today and tomorrow. This method is how I create a Trend Atlas – my system to negotiate complexity and understand the cultural contexts of society.

Influential Society Drivers
The best way to respond to societal shifts is to recognise and harness opportunities. From the Trend Atlas I selected the most influential society drivers to watch.  Key Social and Scientific trends shape society as a whole:

– Total Transparency breeds trust – but it demands openness and clear communication of value(s) and ethics on all levels within society.

– Always On appeals to our desire for ‘real time’ exchange and dialogue as we join new communities. On the move, we embrace cloud culture and the opportunities it presents.

– Smart Technology brings freedom, as we work, blog, shop and socialise on-the-go. It has huge unexplored potential for inspiring fresh thinking about how to relate to people.

– Cultural Capital is essential and brands must nurture this in order to create value and authentic living breathing communities around them.

Emotional and Spiritual trends shape the mindsets and value universe of tomorrow’s people:

– Empowerment Brands leverage people’s passions – inspiring them to become brand ambassadors by forging an emotional connection to create trust.

– Better World expresses the widespread desire for social participation and value-related self-expression among both companies and individuals.

– Holistic Wellbeing reflects the need for balance, as more of us prioritise life in the ‘slow lane’ in order to improve our health and our way of life.

– Happiness Hunting is big business, as organisations look beyond the balance sheet to find out how we can all achieve meaning and a state of ‘emotional equilibrium’.

Tomorrow’s Value Sets
The society drivers are closely linked to the value sets of tomorrow’s people – reflecting their lifestyle choices. They indicate a polarised patchwork society where people are sharing visions across conventional national borders. They also reveal two distinct mindsets divided into: Me-oriented individuals focusing on life according to them and We-oriented people focusing on collective ideals and values.

Trends Affects People’s Mindsets
Clearly there is not just one but many potential future scenarios. The key to creating a meaningful future vision is to employ Whole Brain thinking to understand how the key trends affect people’s mindsets. On a rational level people want informed dialogue and inspired living while on an emotional level they are seeking authentic and positive experiences as a route to find more meaningand personal fulfilment.

Tomorrow’s Coaching Styles
To sum up and map out my key findings I developed a dynamic structure that evolves over time. It a mindset diagram illustrating what motivates and drives people in the western world. It is meant to inspire vision and fuel new thinking in your field. So what matters to people? These four distinct mindsets distill coaching styles appealing to Tomorrow’s People:

* To the Power Coach excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.

* For the Creative Coach teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

* The Caring Coach knows that by moving forward together success takes care of itself.

* A Karma Coach understands that happy people are successful, healthier and live longer.

A Paradigm Shift
As we experience a paradigm shift in our priorities, connecting to people with empathy and engagement in order to inspire and empower their lives becomes essential. “Think from the outside in and feel from the inside out.’ As coaches, your work can change lives and shape the future.  As Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Play to Your Strengths
You must create a system of your own – one that empowers you to play to your strengths and tap into the real needs of people and organisations. Remember too, that the future is not somewhere we go – we are active participants in shaping our lives and our world.

Talk: ICF (International Coaching Federation) October 2010


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