Thursday tends to be the busiest day here and with the increased security moving around Davos is proving quite difficult. As the overall theme of this year’s meeting is about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, many discussions turned back to technology and going digital. One really important factor which I did not touch on in yesterday’s blog is the resulting impact on the organisational structure of corporates.
Virtual reality is no more than five years away. Colleagues working on the same project will be interacting and appearing to be next to each other, but in fact sitting in completely different cities, countries or even continents. There will be far more interaction between business, academia and public authorities. Fewer people will take full-time jobs, instead taking temporary roles, developing their experience and skills, and then moving on to a new assignment. The corporate world will be less about hierarchy and titles, and the role of HR departments will be focused much more on driving the right educational process within an organisation to ensure it does not run short of the necessary skills.
Today’s meeting with the European Commissioners was, as always, very encouraging. Despite their sometimes mixed reputation, driven not least by national politicians, the European Commissioners are very thoughtfully focusing on the major topics for Europe’s future. Agreeing one big digital European agenda is just one of those, but clearly the political debates around the migration crisis, the rise of populist parties and the potential Brexit are overshadowing the news flow coming from Brussels. Amid all of this, I would like to share with you the encouraging result of a poll taken by the many business leaders in the room during that session. All but one representative expects an improved business environment in Europe for 2016. All the negativity which has been around in the first weeks of January, could not push away the positive indicators business leaders see in their own organisations and markets. Let’s be confident about this year. Things will work out.