“Everything is connected” - Where are global forces pushing and pulling us towards?

As we look ahead to 2024, I want to look at five critical, hyper-connected aspects of our existence: 

  • Geopolitics: What's likely to come would be continued geopolitical conflict (Russia-Ukraine | Israel-Palestine) and tension (China with several countries). There is increasing polarisation between Nationalism (exclusivism) and Globalism (inclusivism).

  • Technology: Technologically, the US is possibly accelerating on the AI front, where more "simple-mid-complex" thinking is exponentially taken on by intelligent systems of algorithms (machines taking over repetitive and cumbersome tasks). On the other hand, China is leading in the smart-ware, hardware, systems integration, and application front (using technology to make things cheaper and faster).
  • Climate: Climate challenges have been a hyper-talked-about threat in the last five years, and it will take central worry globally in 2024. Greater water exchange and precipitation will wreak havoc worldwide, inevitably affecting food and other resources critical to daily living.
  • Bio-Threat: Closely related to Climate Change and Human Habits, the threat of pandemics intensifies with scientists trying to find a more stable solution through genetic-related vaccines. R&D in DNA mutation of deadly new viruses and bacteria continues to escalate.
  • Human Values: The pandemic and other major global events have irrevocably created a paradigm shift in human personal values. There is heightened tension between the values of "Conservation" and "Openness to Change," as well as "Self-Enhancement" and "Self-Transcendence" (Ella Daniel et al., 2021). 
  • During the pandemic, there was a distinct increase in Conservation values (order & safety, resist change), while the Openness to Change values (creativity, exploration, novelty) cautiously increased (weak) in 2023.
  • There was a reduction in Self-Transcendence values (We Consciousness, welfare & care) and no change in Self-Enhancement values (self-interest, success & dominance) before, during and after the pandemic.

Evolution of values - in response to VUCA

Human values are usually stable over time. However, they have been shown to shift in the face of threats and multi-faceted major events, impacting social interaction (including commercial activities) and planetary evolution (which includes human societies). 

In the value of "Openness to Change" (polarity-connected to Conservation), researcher Ella Daniel noticed a contradiction where, amid the atmosphere of Conservatism, a sizable population started to take risks and experiment in 2021. The researchers postulated it to be tied to humans' inherent need to grow (Self-Enhancement) and the increased ability to think critically, which involves assessing, understanding, and evaluating complex information. The overall key messages are a distinct increase in the value of Conservation, reduced Self-Transcendence, and social evidence globally showing increasing authoritarian policies as people strive for order and safety.

Organisations that thrived during crises demonstrated Self-Transcendence values

What seems to contradict the research above is a study of organisational behaviours in business by Heidi Gardner and Ivan Matviak (Harvard Business Review, Jul 2020). From studying data from 2010 to 2020, they showed that the most collaborative organisations (top 10%) grew their business during and after crises. These collaborative organisations studied were the "opposite" of organisations which reduced collaboration and hoarded their clients and business secrets (more conservative).

Collaborative people expanded their network across functional and industry silos and increased the number of colleagues they worked with. They were willing to pitch in on other people's work. They co-created new opportunities and executed them; the project's success is more important than the individual's personal glory.

In chaotic environments where people tend to be conservative and less self-transcendent (We Consciousness), successful organisations in crises become more collaborative and democratic (inclusive).

What do these findings mean - What should we focus on developing in 2024?

Strengthening VUCA-Fitness

In my research (PhD Dissertation 2020) on VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity), I asked the question, "What kind of nervous system is required for human beings to be VUCA-Fit?" My research found a high degree of correlation with the information above.

 In VUCA situations--dealing with geopolitical fallouts, technological changes, responding to climate crises and bio-threats, and shifts in human values--we need to master these multi-intelligence skills: 

  • Master our emotions, plan, visualise scenarios and act quickly; be sensorily alert to capture feedback.

  • Frame our search for information and catalogue it, collaborate with diverse people and expand our communication and interpersonal skills.

  • Learn how to see patterns in different sets of data, frame problems and solutions in new ways, and think inductively, abductively and deductively.

  • Embrace the wisdom of failing forward, i.e. to develop "good enough" executable experiments (plans) so that we can gather feedback to evolve our approach.

  • Be mindful of our assumptions; be willing to challenge and learn from them.

In service and response to a VUCA-rife 2024, Mind Transformations will continue to intensify its research and development in NLP Mental (IQ), Emotional (EQ), Physical (PQ) and Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) so that people can be more VUCA-Fit. 




What specifically will we unveil this year?

Read this related article on Developments at Mind Transformations in 2024 to set our learners up for success.