5 Trends From The Trenches That Are Transforming The Way We Do Business

These days, everything is changing, faster and faster. Robots are coming, potentially replacing 50% of the labor force by 2035. The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to relentlessly expand its reach. And data analytics enable us to better predict what is going to happen before it does. No wonder CEOs are overwhelmed, trying to cope with the changes that are coming at them from every direction.

At Simon Associates Management Consultants, we travel the country working with CEOs and their organizations, helping them adapt to the new business environment and prepare for the future. This gives us a unique perspective on what’s going on out there, as I talk about in my recent article for The Huffington Post. I’d like to share five “trends from the trenches” here that I further expand upon in my article.

5 Trends from the Trenches that are transforming how business is done today

As our clients and their businesses try to survive and thrive in these rapidly changing times, here is what we see them (and many others like them) struggling with.

1. The next generation of the U.S. workforce has arrived.

By 2020, 50% of America’s workforce will be Gen Y/millennials. They’re 75 million strong and they see the world through a different set of eyes. They research problems online and seek solutions based on what friends tell them, what colleagues recommend and what the Internet says is true—and many older business leaders haven’t a clue as to how to adjust to their vastly different work habits. 

2. 67% of the businesses in the U.S. are owned and run by Baby Boomers.

Within the next decade, these Boomers will be retiring, passing those businesses onto family members or others, selling them or closing them down. This means than an estimated $10 trillion in wealth will soon be transferred from one generation to the next. What does this mean for the companies that do business with these firms? This is causing a lot of uncertainty..

3. Millennials just “do things differently.”

For generations, people graduated from high school or college, got jobs, got married and moved out on their own. Those days are long gone. Today’s graduates are living with their parents because they can’t find jobs with salaries that enable them to live independently. They’re not getting married because they’re waiting until their late 20s and even 30s to wed, or they’re just living together. They’re not buying cars and few are even getting driver’s licenses. Why should they when there’s Uber, Lyft and Zipcar?

4. New business startups are not occurring like they used to.

As of 2016, for the first time on record, business closings outpaced business openings. While this slowdown began even before the 2008 Great Recession, it has become particularly pronounced over the past two years.


5. Home ownership is at its lowest since 1965.

Only 62.9% of Americans owning homes, possibly because millennials are not interested in living in the suburbs, credit is tight and renting has surged after the crash of ‘08.  

Everything, from what we value to how we behave, is going through a major transformation.

The culture of the millennial generation—those millions who have grown up digital in a global economy—is not only transforming the way we do business but actually who we are. And as we’re seeing from the trenches, the only solution is to adapt, and soon.

More on how to successfully adapt to change: a blog to read

Here’s one of our most popular blogs on the subject of how businesses can adapt to the massive cultural and technological shifts happening today:

Overcome The Pain Of Change: Easy Lessons From Anthropology

At SAMC, we use the tools and methods of anthropology to help organizations see their businesses with fresh eyes and then adjust their company culture so they can grow and thrive in changing times. Contact us for a free consultation. We’d love to talk with you.

From Observation to Innovation,


Andi Simon, Ph.D.
Corporate Anthropologist | President
Simon Associates Management Consultants