A Bartender’s Predictions for 2011

by Sharlyn Lauby on December 5, 2010

Yep, it’s that time of year again.  Time to stick my neck out and predict what I think might happen in the upcoming year.  In reviewing my 2010 predictions, I don’t think I did too bad.  You can decide for yourself by checking it out here.  This year is a bit trickier – economic indicators are all over the place.  No real clear direction from government.  But based upon where we’ve been and where I see us going…here’s my list of things to watch out for:

  1. A possible public sector crisis.  We’ve seen the downfall of the private sector and now the beginning of a rebound.  While it will still take years to see a full private sector recovery, things have been moving in a positive direction.  What we haven’t seen is the full impact to the public sector, and let’s face it…it’s coming.  All the foreclosures and unemployment translates into fewer taxes (i.e. less revenue for government to operate).  At some point, it seems logical that a local or state government will mention the word bankruptcy.  Then bailout.  Just a matter of time.
  2. The new family unit.  Call it extended, non-traditional, sandwich generation, whatever.  It’s not mom, dad, a couple of kids and a mini-van.  The roles of people living under the same roof are changing and organizations need to recognize and respect it.  This means looking at benefits as well as policies to embrace the new definition of family.
  3. Conference attendance will be down.  Companies know they need to invest in professional development but, at the same time, are looking to get maximum return on the dollars spent.  Instead of spending a couple thousand dollars to send one person to a conference, they will spend that money on training and development for a larger audience.  Think corporate universities or something similar on a small business scale.
  4. Higher education will increase use of technology in curriculum design.  To keep enrollment numbers up, colleges and universities will look to have increased presence beyond the traditional brick and mortar learning environment.  We’ll see more blended learning and eLearning programs to attract and retain students who need a flexible environment.
  5. Social learning and gaming will be in demand.  With the popularity of Facebook and mobile games, companies will be looking for ways to bring this kind of fun into corporate learning.  Who knows, maybe Second Life will make a comeback?
  6. The word for 2011 will be opportunity.  Everyone wants one.  Whether it’s the job seeker, the small business owner or the opportunity economy…it’s all about creating opportunities, innovation in leveraging opportunities or sharing opportunities.  The questions will be about the quantity of opportunities available and evaluating the quality of each opportunity.

Oh, and my travel prediction for next year is that 2011 will be about the road trip.  People want to take a vacation but they don’t want the hassles of paying for luggage, pat-downs and body scanners.  And my food prediction is barbecue.  I think the past couple of years have made people realize how important good food and friends are.  So I see the re-emergence of potlucks and block parties – anything where the food is cooked low and slow with good friends hanging out together.

So, there ya have it.  My predictions for next year.  Be sure to drop me a note in the comments and let me know your thoughts.  And thank you as always for being a part of the HR Bartender community.  Cheers!

Image courtesy of Daniel Voyager

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