January 2000 - The New Millennium
Happy New Year where ever you are!!!
Being in California, we had the fantastic experience of watching the rest of the world usher in the new millennium as the date change rolled around the world. From the South Seas, through the Far East, Russia, Europe and Africa to the United States, the world partied in so many different and unique ways. The celebrations were breathtaking and inspiring to a world weary of fear, anger and war. The beauty of the many world-wide celebrations was breath-taking and affirms the unity of all people on our planet. Let's hope that we can sustain even a part of that feeling as we move forward into this new world we have created.
The year 2000 ushers in a new era, a new millennium, a new way of thinking about our life, our business and our world.
For the past few years, most people have been focused toward this moment when we change to a new millennium. The amazing amount of work that has been done to prepare for this change is awesome. Millions of people around the world have been working together for a common goal - to get computers and support systems ready for a major date change.
Never before in our lifetime have so many people worked together toward the same goal at the same time. This fact in itself is something to reflect on. The amount of money, energy and people power put to this task has been phenomenal and it has achieved its goal - preparing for a significant change affecting everything we do.
In the past, only wartime efforts took on such commitment to a single purpose. This change has been for a peaceful goal where there were no opposing sides. If every project could have such teamwork, focus and dedication, we could eliminate war from our vocabulary. Think about that. Our healthy economy and high productivity is a direct result of people working together toward a common goal.
For many years we have been talking about the shift from individual efforts to team efforts. The Y2k effort has shown just how strong the results of team efforts can be. Many companies ó for the first time ó came to understand just how connected they are to others. As they inventoried their numerous vendors/suppliers, they realized how dependent they are on others to make their own company work.
Now that we have moved across the line to the year 2000, what lies ahead?
All our energy has been focused toward this moment . . . now what? Most people will feel a great sense of relief, gratitude and a sense of accomplishment. Many will feel that they can now finally move forward to achieve their dreams. Some people will feel a sense of uneasiness and instability in the early part of the year until they decide what they want to do next.
In January especially, companies will be watching for signs of Y2k failures. And, when there are none or they are only minor issues, they may be like the athlete who works toward an Olympic goal, then doesn't know what to do after the Games are over.
Many people have not thought beyond January 1, 2000 to setting new long-term goals. Therefore, the first part of 2000 will be devoted to looking around, seeing what has happened, taking stock of the situation and deciding what to do next.
That is always a time for inward focus with many occasions for uncertainty, creativity and wonderful new opportunities. For many organizations, it will be time to deploy that Y2k team into new Internet activities. Others will focus on doing those projects that have had to wait until the Y2k work was done. Some companies may flounder while they re-evaluate their priorities.
In the fast-paced world of today's business, those who set new goals quickly and creatively will be the first to achieve success in the next few years. Those who linger, remain unfocused and uncertain will find they are left in the dust ó at least for awhile.
Companies, organizations, agencies and governments that do experience Y2k failures will have their plans made for them. Obviously, they will attack those problems as fast as they can. The rest of the world will go forward without them.
Some people have predicted economic slowdowns or a recession for 2000. We don't expect that to happen because of the pent-up demand for projects that have been delayed while Y2k work has been going on. Individuals or companies may find that their revenue is flat or declining for a short period of time. That will be more than offset by the many others who move forward quickly.
Those who have been fortunate to be part of the strong economy with low inflation for the past several years have a keen interest in helping keep the economy strong. Coupled with new partnerships and the knowledge learned in recent years, we expect the economy to remain strong and healthy for quite a few years.
As for the "end of the world" predictions, we continue to believe that the world as we knew it ended several years ago. We are already living in the new future we created for ourselves and enjoying the benefits of that creation. The calendar has finally caught up with what happened.
Fear and anxiety has not been eliminated, however. There are still a small but significant number of people who are very much afraid for the future. They will make their views known in whatever ways they can. Some folks may even try to end the world just to make their worst fears come true. They will not affect the majority of society but they may encourage media attention to their cause. Nor do they have the ability to destroy what so many have built.
Some religions will continue their dogmatic declarations of fear designed to control their members and maintain their loyalty. Since the world has not ended, a few folks will see the fear-based campaign for what it is - an illusion, not reality. Other religions will understand that positive support and expansion is more beneficial to their followers and provide leadership for a new future.
The motion picture industry will provide us with numerous opportunities in 2000 to jolt our senses with hard-hitting adventures and thrillers. 2000 will be a good year to be alert and conscious of what we truly fear and what is illusion. If you feel one of these jolts at times, remind yourself that you are alive, well, safe and enjoy the exhilaration and adventure of it.
The health care industry continues to evolve with new discoveries becoming the norm rather than the exception. Efforts to eliminate the deadliest diseases will help to prolong the average lifespan within the near future. New understandings of how the body works and what it means to be healthy will allow us to work longer and enjoy our lives much more. Some of these changes will come through more balanced nutrition, exercise and stress-relieving activities. Use of natural remedies will become the norm again rather than the exception within a few years.
Individual choices about the quality of life or death will become more common, although not the mainstream norm yet. More people will chose how they want to die rather than simply going along with what their doctors think. Death at home with dignity where people are surrounded by close family and friends will continue to increase until this no longer seems unusual. After the big shift in the calendar, many people will choose to leave.
Government will continue to grow until enough people realize that too much government is not a good thing. Most large government agencies are so ineffective and bloated that they cannot function properly. These will continue to make news, which helps to focus on the source of the real problems. More attention from the public about the high burden of taxation will continue to draw attention until it changes are made.
High-tech industries of all kinds will continue their explosive growth. The Internet is quickly changing the face of business in the world and will continue to have a strong influence on most businesses in some way. Telecommunications and computer speed continues to improve quickly. Communications of all kinds continue to grow faster, with some interesting new ideas coming forward this year that will cause people to re-think their assumptions about what is possible. A year from now when we look back, most of us will be amazed at the changes.
After a slow start in 2000 with many empty cruises and over-priced events left unsold, the travel industry will offer more appropriate rate structures. People will be staying closer to home for the first half of year except when necessary. By the end of the year, people will feel safer traveling to other countries again. The major travel companies will promote Internet reservations, which will increase significantly in 2000. Travel agents will still be needed for people who appreciate good customer service and well-seasoned advice. Creativity will be apparent in the travel industry as in many other industries in 2000.
The legal industry will pursue Y2k-related lawsuits, although the opportunities will be slim pickings for most. More and more legal practitioners will become disillusioned with winner-take-all court battles and move into more team-based legal practice, such as advising companies on legal strategy.
Employees will have a growing say-so in company policy and make their views known through many channels. Those companies that have achieved high productivity already know how well this works. More companies will appreciate the power of active employee involvement in improved profits. Some of the companies that have been using these principles will become well-known and achieve more public success.
The media may finally realize that they have gone too far after some high-profile mistakes and start learning how to be a positive force in their community, rather than a constant source of bad news, cynicism and invasion of privacy.
Privacy and individual rights to live peacefully will continue to be a strong issue until appropriate protections are instituted and maintained.
Weather has been more and more unpredictable in recent years. This will not change for 2000 and some people will wonder if anybody ever could predict weather correctly. Weather is simply another reflection of our instable times.
Disasters will continue to occur around the world. Most of the world's armed forces will be diverted to assist in weather and natural disasters rather than in wars. Localized wars will continue in those regions that have always been unstable.
Education will continue to be somewhat behind the rest of the world, continually trying to catch up. Private forms of education of all types continue to provide much needed skills, especially for business and industry. Debates about the value of public education will help us eventually create a better system, although not for many years yet.
The coming US presidential election in the fall will be an interesting event with many new developments and information coming forward that could change the eventual outcome. As a country, we must make a collective decision about our new leadership team. There are many competing factors at work that make the end result unpredictable at present.
When all is said and done, we will look back at 2000 as the herald of a new future.
Use your inherent creativity to your fullest advantage this year. May your greatest wishes come true.
This forecast represents our views and opinions. Please, don't just take our word (or anyone else's) for what will or will not happen. Use whatever methods work for you in planning for the future. Wise people will use all the forecasts they can find, then see what feels right for them rather than letting any one dictate their activities.
No guarantees about the future are implied or given - use our views as you would anyone's opinions.
Last year's forecast: January, 1999
Internet Resources : Trends and Predictions
We had a hard time finding any websites offering predictions and trends dealing with 2000. Most sites only deal with getting ready for January 1, 2000 and the date rollover, as if beyond that was not worth considering.
Warning: these are both serious and not-so-serious links.
Page updated: June 05, 2009 Institute for Management Excellence, Copyright © 2001 All rights reserved
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