Welcome to the second post in our series highlighting some of the trends featured in 100 Trends: What’s Up In Business and Culture in 2013. This week we’ll explore Business.
The workplace is undergoing upheaval like no time since Henry Ford made the assembly line de rigueur in manufacturing. From the rise of the independent contractor to the influence (both positive and negative) of constant connectivity to the improved integration of design thinking into all business processes, work life is radically changing.
Gone are the days when business was but a singular quest to maximize shareholder value. Now intrepid entrepreneurs and established companies are deploying a host of strategies to address the needs of all stakeholders – suppliers, end users, the environment, and local communities – in addition to investors.
For example, companies that sign 1% For The Planet pledge promise to donate 1% of sales to environmental organizations. Other social enterprises employ buy-one-give-one (think TOMS Shoes) and other strategies to create positive impacts with each product sale. Other companies are going so far as to take on whole new corporate structures that bake in a social mission alongside fiduciary duties. Listen for much greater discussion around the triple bottom line (social, environmental and financial impacts) in 2013.
In addition to improved stakeholder engagement, the other big story of 2013 will be the advent of a whole new way for budding businesses to raise funds. The JOBS Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2012, will soon allow everyday investors to take part in funding startups. Once the realm of wealthy “angel investors” and elite venture capital firms, small business will be able to offer equity and interest payments to small investors a few hundred bucks at a time. Brand new crowdfunding platforms like Funding Launchpad and EarlyShares have already sprouted up to support such transactions.
These are just a smattering of the trends shaping business this year. Check out the complete 100 Trends: What’s Up In Business And Culture In 2013 for full analysis of these and dozens of other trends that will shape the way we communicate, do business and enjoy life this year.