Fernando Fischmann

Predictions for 2015: Power to the People

5 January, 2015 / Articles

When asked to predict the future, it’s hard to forget that the totally automated future that expo organizers and Sci-Fi prognosticators prepared us for has not come to pass. We are all still waiting for our flying cars — not to mention the end of email spam. In fact, we’ve recently come to realize that without the human factor — one great case in point being the modern entrepreneur — this breathtaking speed and usability is of little use. So I now reach out to quote another brilliant but non-technical light, John Lennon, who famously advocated “Power to the People.“

Power Begins in the Cloud

When the Cloud became tangible in 2008, it was supposed to be the future full-time residence for unbound data and computing processes. What was not so widely predicted at the time, though — and what is now becoming exceedingly obvious — is the power that Cloud services bring to entrepreneurial startups and small and medium businesses to compete with their corpulent corporate neighbors.

A prime example is my own company which, with around 70 staff, deftly operates across three continents, succeeding just as well or better — and in many cases more cost effectively — than much larger companies. Today we can utilize Cloud services in the areas of finance, creative collaboration, automated marketing, publishing, networking, lead generation, HR, analytics, our own CRM software, and many more. We’re now able to operate with the same robust power as the big guys — at a fraction of the cost.

Smaller businesses have another edge that the corporations do not: agility. While a smaller business can turn like a responsive cigarette boat when needed, the larger, traditional enterprise must clumsily lumber toward the proverbial iceberg without the facility to quickly correct course.

Prediction No. 1: Smaller enterprises and entrepreneurs, currently comprising over half of our working population, 120 million strong, will grow by 5% in 2015 in the U.S., and 10% in emerging economies, thanks to cost-effective Cloud services.

This is “power to the people” where everyone wins.

The Battle for Talent

Even with a technological edge, we still need bright, capable and competent humans to guide it. As we discovered in the 1980s and 1990s, when attempts to automate human skills such as the enterprise sales process failed, we need the innovation and creativity of human beings. Blade Runner’s legendary replicants being nowhere on the horizon, we’d better empower ourselves.

As anyone attempting to staff an enterprise knows, good help is becoming increasingly hard to find — especially when you’re looking for managers. As an example the average Sales, Marketing, PR, Fundraising, Advertising or Promotions Manager makes between $45 – $59 hr (median, USA), or more than 6x the minimum wage.

Willing individuals aren’t difficult to locate at all — they’re on every corner, and are great if you need your emails handled, your phones answered, or your data input. But people with real, intuitive, human skills needed to move your business substantially forward, who are not only talented but willing to go the extra mile? That’s another matter.

Prediction No. 2: Because of Sales and Marketing crossover in entrepreneurial organizations, managers with blended skillsets will push up compensation over the $60 per hour range in 2015 (equating to $125K annually) and wages for these positions will continue to escalate through the middle of the century.

The smart company sees these trends playing out daily. The best way to get ahead of the trends is to educate your workforce to the greatest extent allowed by your P/L statement.

Stepping Up With Education

The news is full of reports that the quality of our education has plummeted. It is increasingly difficult for college graduates to find employment where they can make use of their expensive degrees.

Perhaps this educational void is the reason that TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington famously stated that “the best thing in the world is to go to Harvard for a year and drop out. Everyone knows you were smart enough to get in.”

While we are waiting for those esteemed private and state institutions to figure out what they are doing wrong, ambitious individuals are getting creative. Get hold of and study books and other materials by others who have actually gone where you want to go. Attend seminars and presentations by the same types of people. Become employed at whatever level you can by companies you really want to work for — and be mentored and apprenticed by those in whose footsteps you want to follow. Then do the actual work, prove yourself and make yourself valuable.

None of these activities has anything to do with an actual degree on your wall.

Prediction No. 3: Next year, more businesses will, by necessity, get more creative in business education innovation for their workforces — sharing knowledge with anyone seeking it. For example:

  • More will work hand-in-hand with educational institutions on specialized training for employees and partners
  • Many will increase company-based educational materials and reference libraries
  • Education-focused companies will develop in-house curricula for skills training with incentives such as scaling pay based on achieving training goals
  • More organizations will offer increased corporate educational and worktool allowances





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