We are all increasingly faced with the important question of what the world of tomorrow will look like. This is particularly interesting in view of the rapid changes which we are currently experiencing, and which will probably still be our constant companions in the future. Things which are currently state-of-the-art will probably be as revolutionary in 20 years as a mobile phone with keys would be today.

Change is taking place across all sectors and is affecting almost all areas of private and professional everyday life, including communications – which is my forte. So, here are my thoughts on tomorrow’s world:

Digitalisation seems to be the word of the moment and is playing a large part in the changes that we are witnessing. Or, to be more specific, the internet as a whole. High bandwidth, DSL and fibre optic cables have facilitated a development, without which nothing works any more. The internet creates openness, participation and, above all, agility. The possibilities of the digital world therefore even influence our everyday office life, because I am now connected wherever I am and no longer need to be at my desk all day in order to be contactable. On the one hand this is obviously a great opportunity, but if you take a closer look then you will quickly see that this is just a consequence of the technology. I think the thing that is much more important is a change in our culture, and our mindset.

Everything was different back then…

back to the roots of communication

I started out in corporate communications more than a quarter of a century ago. Back then, using knowledge as control, narrow-minded thinking and top-down communications were still fairly widespread, and although these concepts still exist today, like the dinosaurs, they will probably die out. However, until we have released ourselves from the communication rules which evolved historically, old ‘communication patterns’ will continue to challenge us. Can we meet the communicative requirements of the 21st century with a mindset from the 20th century?

Our influence on the future

Virtual reality and digital communications, instead of personal meetings on location, are the order of the day and we need to get on board with them. Today, managers must be able to manage virtual teams. However, it is also important that we see our employees as ambassadors. In communications, now more than ever, we need to channel the mantra ‘people first’ and this will not change any time soon.

Choosing the right platforms to present the content of an individual or a company in the best way possible and to reach the target groups without any great loss in intensity, is also a very important task. Then, I am sure, we will really start to gather pace in corporate communications and will have more power in the future.