Top Ten Work Trends Quarterly Updates

A diverse group of SIOP members are serving as Trend Champions for the people-related work trends that SIOP members collaboratively predicted to be the most impactful in 2021. Each Trend Champion has expertise in and professional passion for their trend subject. SIOP appreciates their service to the profession in providing quarterly updates on their chosen topics.

Find the full list of topics and links to the other Top 10 Work Trends here

  • Top 10 Work Trends

The Latest on Trend #9: Building Cultures of Agility and Adaptability

Kenneth P. DeMeuse


2021 1st Quarter Update

Like the commercial goes for promoting the Masters Golf Tournament every year. It’s “a tradition unlike any other.” Well, 2020 indeed was a year like no other! To think that only a year ago none of us had heard of the coronavirus (except for a few people in the medical community), whereas nowadays, nearly every news story, magazine article, and blog posting features the coronavirus. We truly live in a VUCA World (i.e., one filled with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity). But, ironically, the concept of VUCA originated more than 30 years ago at the U.S. Army War College. Since that time, it has been used to characterize the current environment and the leadership required to successfully navigate during these times.

Several consulting firms have focused on how organizations must adapt and become more agile to succeed in this post-pandemic world during Q1. For example, Lee Hecht Harrison emphasized that we should rethink how we deploy learning within organizations. We need to shift not only to meet future skill requirements, but to start mining the maximum value possible from human capital, “the real engine of growth and success.” Likewise, McKinsey and Company examined how the pandemic has accelerated remote work and virtual interactions, e-commerce and digital transactions, and the deployment of automation and AI. 

SIOP members Veronica Schmidt Harvey and Kenneth DeMeuse’s recent book highlights the importance of creating an organizational culture of agility and developing managers who are learning agile.  The Age of Agility: Building Learning Agile Leaders and Organizations explores the science and practice of learning agility. More than 50 academic scholars and talent practitioners from around the globe contribute their views. The authors integrate theory, research, and practice to investigate the present thinking of learning agility and how to embed it into one’s workforce and business.

About Kenneth P. De Meuse

Ken De Meuse is a global thought leader on the assessment and development of leadership and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and authored seven books. His most recent book, The Age of Agility: Building Learning Agile Leaders and Organizations was published by Oxford University Press in February. After being on the faculty at two universities (Iowa State, Wisconsin) and working in large business organizations (Korn Ferry, Intergraph, Union Carbide), he established the De Meuse Leadership Group in 2014. The firm specializes in leader identification, executive coaching, and research on high potential talent and consists of a global network