While many leaders were adapting to the pandemic’s third year of existence, 2022 still presented several difficulties, not least the economic downturn that aggravated technology companies and startups, effectuating job losses and financial cuts en masse. Elsewhere, worldwide supply chain issues caused chaos, and some businesses struggled to survive.
In November, Joules—the popular fashion chain—filed for administration. After several months of financial challenges, the stylish retailer also halted trading on their shares. That same month, Made.com also filed for administration after only two years of being listed on the London Stock Exchange with a $933 million price tag and ambitious plans to take the lead in digital furniture retailing. “Shoppers to lose $10 million in deposits, warn administrators,” reported The Guardian this week.
Nevertheless, there has been a push to find solutions and adapt, because to keep up with the new normal, many leaders had to strategize and find ways to stay innovative. So, what can we expect in the next year?
As 2023 progresses, many leaders are already thinking ahead and setting their sights on the future. While there are no guarantees in life, trends can help you get an idea of what the world might look like and how to prepare for it. Here are some of perspectives, predictions, and insights on what the future may hold from four leaders:
1. Staying agile to stay ahead
“I learned that you have to be ready for anything, and nothing is certain,” said blockchain and digital asset expert Norman Wooding. The London School of Economics alum began mining digital assets in 2015. Four years later, he founded SCRYPT Digital—a company that today handles and trades billions of dollars for its institutional clients. “It’s the only way to truly succeed in a market as volatile and ever-changing as this,” he said. Wooding believes 2023 will be pivotal for his industry and stresses the importance of staying agile to stay ahead. Wooding’s view is consistent with research published by Harvard Business Review, which found that the most successful organizations remain open-minded and continuously develop their capacity for change in times of uncertainty. So, quickly adjusting strategies and processes is vital: “When the unexpected happens, businesses have to move on their feet and make changes instantly,” Wooding affirmed.
2. Bridging the gap between creators and consumers
“As a business owner, content is everything,” said Oliver Bell, a blockchain entrepreneur and influencer. Last year, he founded XCAD Network, a fan token platform for some of the world’s biggest content creators, enabling viewers to earn digital assets specific to that creator by watching their videos directly on YouTube. Then, like how users earn air miles by flying, these tokens can be redistributed to other consumers to access numerous perks. “The connection between blockchain and the real world is critical for mass adoption, and I’m proud to be leading the way,” said Bell. He believes next year’s focus will be more revolutionary with the same vision in mind, in doing so, bridging the gap between creators and consumers. Bell’s view is consistent with research undertaken by Mckinsey & Company, which found that blockchain technology can play a critical role in creating innovative solutions for better connecting creators and consumers. So, the use of this technology is expected to increase in 2023.
3. Connection is key
“The digital economy, as we know it, is rapidly changing,” said Charles Wissa, an entrepreneur and alternative currency investor. In 2020, he co-founded Asic Jungle—a trading platform that oversaw transactions of 100,000 ASIC miners in 2021. Wissa believes that next year will require businesses to think outside the box by embracing new technology to drive their success. “It’s critical for entrepreneurs to learn how to use technology effectively and understand regulations to stay ahead of the curve,” he said. Wissa also stressed the importance of staying connected to clients through meetings, email campaigns and other social media means. “Connection is key; it’s not enough to just have a great product or service—you need to be able to communicate and develop relationships with your clients.” Wissa’s view is consistent with research published by Harvard Business Review, which found that connecting with customers is essential for success in the digital age. Therefore, building relationships and staying connected to clients is critical for businesses wanting to succeed in 2023. “At the end of the day, it’s all about understanding your customer and being able to adapt quickly to their needs and wants,” Wissa concluded.
4. Design thinking will be all the rage
“Design thinking is an essential skill for entrepreneurs to stay ahead of the curve,” said Ekaterina Perekopskaya, an art director, fashion designer and stylist, who co-founded Concept2048 with photographer Rostyslav Brenych. The project exhibited the Metamorphoses art collection at this year’s Venice Biennial Art Exhibition “Personal Structures”. The digital artists found an innovative way to communicate with their community through NFTs, which effectuate digital life into their hand-made collection and encourage users to unite in addressing global problems. Brenych thinks 2023 will bring new opportunities for businesses to explore through design-oriented approaches and digitalization, adding that “It’s important to rethink marketing strategies, product designs, and customer experiences”. Perekopskaya believes combining creativity and new technologies will be essential for organizations to stand out from the pack. Her view is consistent with research undertaken by Fujitsu, which found that digital transformation is necessary for companies to stay competitive.
In summary, 2023 is sure to bring its own unique set of challenges and opportunities for leaders around the world. Bell and Wissa highlighted the importance of staying connected to customers, while Brenych and Perekopskaya emphasized the need for businesses to embrace design thinking principles combined with digital technologies. By leveraging these insights, leaders will be well-positioned to create experiences that lead to success in the upcoming year. Of course, only time will tell if companies are up to the task. However, by staying ahead of the latest trends and leveraging the right technologies, leaders certainly have a better chance of surviving—and thriving—in 2023.