5 ways to prepare your company for the day after tomorrow

The world is changing faster than we can keep up with. It becomes extremely difficult for many leaders to make the right decisions in order to survive this complex world, a world where robots and technology are expected to play substantial roles.
Last week, I attended two seminars: "Back to Basics" by Wout Van Impe and "The day after tomorrow" by Peter Hinssen.

What once again transpired was the importance for companies to invest in human capital today if they want to stay at the top of the game tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Because the companies that will thrive in the next decade, will be the companies that rise above the mere investments in robots and technology and seriously invest in their people instead.

Thus these seminars inspired me to list for you 5 important ways in which we can optimise the running of our companies in this rapidly changing business world, so that we can successfully stand our ground - today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow!

1. The power of a positive outlook

People with a positive outlook spread more joy and energy throughout our workplaces and inspire others to become happier and more engaged as well. And herein lies a tremendous power!

Our highly technological world makes for constant floods of negative news flashes. This combined with an ingrained in-company focus on everything that goes badly (including bad behaviour) tends to distort our perspective. It also prevents us from having a positive impact on the atmosphere in our workplaces and puts a damper on our outlook on the future in general.

That is why it is so crucial to teach managers and employees to spot and appreciate all the little positive things that happen in their day-to-day work environment! Because once they do, everybody gets to enjoy working in a more positive and supportive environment, which in turn is bound to positively impact company results.

2. Building a culture of trust

During his seminar, "The day after tomorrow", Peter Hinssen stated that the ideal future company works with 99% of people that don't know what they are doing and 1% of people that do know what they are doing.

Contrary to what one might think at first sight, what he meant when he phrased his message that way had nothing to do with knowledge, skills or expertise! What he actually meant was that the future belongs to those companies who fill their vacancies for a large part with people who have the entrepreneurial mind-set necessary to dare take initiative to try out something new without knowing the outcome.

And people can only thrive and be innovative in the workplace if they feel they are supported and trusted by their management.

So the only way to stimulate this mind set is by building a company culture in which people feel safe and allowed to make mistakes. And the easiest way to build such a company culture is by really connecting with your people from heart to heart - by appreciating them for their contributions and by giving them the feeling that they themselves and what they do really matters to you and your organisation.

3. Holacracy vs. Hierarchy

Countless hours of effort and brain power are wasted every day because employees are forced to follow in-house hierarchical procedures. And that's a pity, because in the long run this approach simply discourages people from taking other initiatives and encourages them to disengage instead.

By choosing to implement an organizational structure of holacracy, your company will have the opportunity to grow in a way that is far less rigid and bureaucratic. That is because this new agile structure of decentralised management does away with traditional hierarchy and job descriptions, and instead distributes authority and a unique decision-making process to self-organizing teams.

You can only get the very best out of your people by letting them take ownership, giving them authority and acknowledging them for their contributions on a daily basis! So there is no doubt that shifting the focus away from the prestige and power games that come with a traditional hierarchy, and towards an approach of getting the work done purely in line with your company's purpose, can only be a good thing.

4. The E.R.M. system - a crucial investment

Every company has a Customer Relationship Management database these days. But how many companies have equally invested in an Employee Relationship Management system?

Very few!

And, actually, this should come as a huge surprise, because as Richard Branson puts it:

Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients

So consider this crucial question for a minute: what do you really know about your employees?

What do you know about their family situation? Do you know what they love doing in their spare time? Do you know what their values are or what moves them? Do you know how and in which non-monetary way they would like to be appreciated by their manager? Do you know what motivates them or what would be a reason for them to leave your company?

There are still way too many companies out there that think that their primary focus should be on their customers. Nothing could be further from the truth!

5. Raise the bar

Just as every company is forced to reinvent itself all the time in order to keep its head above the waves, so every employee should do the same.

Settling for mediocrity simply won't do the trick anymore!

The day and age in which we looked to stay in a job for 40 years has come to an end. People can only survive in this rapidly changing world if they continuously raise their standards and set new goals and targets for themselves. And raising these standards has nothing to do with implementing a new app 😊 - it is all about living a fully charged, connected and contributing life.

Nevertheless, many people cling on to life as they know it: they are afraid of questioning themselves and of stepping out of their comfort zone. They tell themselves that "that's just their way of life", but in doing so restrain their own creativity and sabotage their own future… and with it, the future of the company they work for!

That is why every company should commit itself to investing in its people by helping them become mentally stronger, increase their intellectual capacity and strengthen their physical health.

Because the more time goes by, the bigger an enemy of growth conformity will become: it will stop people from evolving into healthy, happy human beings, and block the road to success of the companies they work for. So build a culture which prioritises values such as entrepreneurship, ownership, excellence, mastery, initiative, … and let those values become the main driving force behind further company growth!


In this rapidly changing, technology-driven world, it is of vital importance to dare make solid long-term plans and think more radically out-of-the-box. And this applies both to your company and to yourself!

Short-cuts simply don't exist, and we must shift our focus: on a personal level, on a company level and on a political level.

Technology might be an enabler to help us reach new, unseen heights but if we keep on only relying on technology without equally investing in ourselves on a human level, we will - frankly put - turn into zombies.

Thus, the companies that will thrive in the next decade, will be the companies that rise above the mere investments in robots and technology, and seriously invest in human capital by giving human growth and connections the attention they deserve.

Because what could possibly be more exciting and inspiring than working with companies filled with people who are happy, engaged, bring joy and spread their positive energy?! At the end of the day, nothing will ever replace that little, warm extra 'human touch' … and the companies ready for the day after tomorrow know this!

Nathalie Arteel
Leading Angel at the Arteel Group
Motivational Speaker








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HR News: 5 ways to prepare your company for the day after tomorrow
5 ways to prepare your company for the day after tomorrow
HR News
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