Seven Potential Shocks for Project Managers in a Disrupted Future
Some believe that this near immunity to large-scale shocks began with the UK’s decision not to leave the European Union, Donald Trump becoming the US President, and revelations about fake news on the internet influencing elections around the globe.
We’ve been seeing near daily announcements about the mind-blowing capabilities and volatility of artificial intelligence, wild fluctuations of the price of Bitcoin, as well as the 30,000% price increases on initial coin offerings. We accept shocks as part of modern life and, in a certain sense, they are no surprise to us.
It is important to be prepared for shocks in order to protect individuals, businesses, governments, and businesses. This is especially true for project management. Project management is about managing change and introducing it. To be successful in the long-term, project managers must be aware of wider changes and shocks that may be occurring in the system. This could affect their industry sector as well as the people working there.
A systematic review of the trends, forces and developments can help identify potential shocks. This is a core part of what we do as futurists. These are shared to help people understand the future and possible outcomes.
We present a range future factors and potential disruptions in 500 Futures, our forthcoming book. This will help shape the next decade. We would like to share a portion of the book and seven possible shocks that could impact project management.
They could have a transformative effect on life, society and the economy.
Political and Economic Shocks
Brexit: Global Economy Sinks
A chaotic and poorly managed Brexit could lead to a prolonged global recession. As the Brexit date approaches, the UK government could be at a standstill. Most civil servants will be focused on removing Britain from the European Union (EU), and putting in place the mechanisms that allow for the EU to continue its activities.
The huge costs of withdrawing, implementing new systems such as customs, or recruiting new staff to government could result in cuts in public services and welfare benefits.
Foreign companies may choose to relocate key operations from the UK in order to maintain access to European markets. As firms look to reduce risks and replace humans with machines, the pace of automation could accelerate.
Markets could be frightened by the uncertain transition period and prolonged post-transition rebalancing in the UK economy, which could lead to a drop in share prices and a decrease in the value of pound.
These measures collectively could result in massive job losses in the public and private sector, declining spending, higher import prices, and a significant decrease in government tax revenues.
The UK could experience a prolonged recession lasting several years. This could lead to a contagion effect across the globe that causes a global downturn and spreads throughout the economy.
Techlash – Global Society Rebels Against the Machine
As artificial intelligence (AI), and other disruptive technologies like blockchain develop at a faster pace, there could be a technological backlash from those who are affected. Robotics and AI are already replacing humans in large numbers and will continue to do so.
It is hoped that new industries and the reskilling will lead to more jobs. There could be a significant delay between redundancy and retraining and the emergence of new opportunities.