From SXSW 2018 we’ve summarised the 3 key actions for your business to take. These actions will help to capitalize on future trends relevant to every sector of business.
Each year SXSW brings together a cross-section of industry leaders and creative minds to converge, collaborate, and decide once and for all, on the “next big thing”. However, with over 5000 talks and 70,000 attendees, it can be hard to distil what is relevant to your business sector.
1. Diversify your Organisation’s Thinking
The benefits of having a diverse workplace has been proven categorically to improve performance across all KPIs. Finally, companies are starting to realize that diversity and inclusion is an integral part of a market acceleration and globalization strategy. Now the next stage is to create inclusive cultures that supports this diversity.
Therefore, when recruiting a diverse pool of candidates, don’t just see ethnicity or background being a KPI but rather as an indicator of diverse thinking. A person’s uniqueness can come from unusual career paths. It can be seen in remarkable goals for the future. Everyone can take on the responsibility to invite new ways of thinking into the organisation. They can influence recruiting habits, encourage input from those not normally in the conversation and continually challenge your own patterns. Only by measuring and identifying where you currently are, can you find what is missing and be able to set goals for moving forward.
If there is to be a sustainable shift in your organisation’s culture, everyone in your business must demand change and embody inclusion.
2. Live your purpose, listen to customers & speak authentically
It has always been the case that a product or service has symbolised more than its functional value – you buy into the SXSW world as soon as you purchase your ticket, you’re a symbol of the future.
Millennials and Gen Z’s have added an extra layer to this. People now expect their brands to reflect the values that they personally believe in, that are significant in their culture, and that they aspire to live by. A consumer experience has become more complex as the consumer becomes more involved.
By promoting a belief system in dissociable from their product, a brand will become personally relevant to the consumer. It will enable proactive engagement and fully captivate the consumer. By reframing your brand so that you’re driven by a purpose greater than yourselves and for the good of the consumer, your mindset will always be user-centric.
3. Create communities & breed connection
Technology is now embedded in our Ways of Working, be it in communication or regulating processes. This has grown to the extent that our occasions for meaningful human connection are ebbing away. Humans rely on social interaction for growth and happiness. When we are not given access to this basic need our engagement and productivity slumps and reduces the effectiveness of an organisation in the long term.
This has been coined the ‘Loneliness Epidemic’.
Research by the former US Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek H Murthy, has shown that loneliness at work reduces task performance. It limits creativity, and impairs aspects of executive function such as reasoning and decision making.
The quality of employees’ interpersonal relationships has been shown to have a significant impact on how they perceive and connect with their organisation. The level of human social engagement therefore determines whether a person is engaged with the business’s outcomes.
To tackle loneliness, we need to encourage real connection. Here are a few small actions you can take as a business to create meaningful connections in the workplace:
- Breed trust by sharing experiences
- Show your authentic self and raise your awareness of what makes other’s unique
- Find out what inspires your colleagues
- Move outside your normal boundaries and be intentional about meeting someone you’ve never met before
Of course, real change will only occur if you create an organisational culture that puts people first in every aspect of the business.