Part of Wisdom Works’ promise to our clients is to stay abreast of the health and wellness trends which affect how leaders lead. So it was a delight for me to organize our recent mind-expanding, heart-opening leader-to-leader event named The Human & Cultural Wellbeing Trends Impacting Our Nation & Our World. To kick off a lively dialogue, I invited friend and colleague Tom LaForge to share the current macro-trends he’s investigating as Global Director of Human & Cultural Insights at The Coca-Cola Company.
In his job, Tom has the unique role of identifying emerging shifts in human motivation that could impact how companies operate. At our event, he initiated a spirited discussion of where we are now, how far we’ve come, and what lies ahead. What leaders at our event agreed on was this: an authentic movement toward positive, healthy living is advancing worldwide.
Our conversation shined light on many ways this heartening trend is evident: in everything from the strategic use of employee wellness programs and community development models which also make a profit to the burgeoning organic food market and the mainstreaming of homeopathics. Here are two of the trends Tom shared as driving a growing desire by consumers and citizens to experience life through the lens of health and wellbeing:
- The Emerging Power of Women. A series of TED talks emphasizes the magnitude of this trend, stating that over the past several years, “a flood of fascinating data from the worlds of education, microfinance and more has shown an essential link between investing in women and girls and economic growth, public health, political stability.” In fact, companies, communities and nations fare better when women make up at least 30% of their leadership according to research done by Linda Tarr-Whelan, author of Women Lead the Way.
- The Values of Generation Z. Also known as the “Net Generation” and “Digital Natives”, this age group was born in the 1990s through today. If prior generations incorporated the values of integrity, fairness, health, connection, and social responsibility into our workplaces and communities (and this through no lack of hard work!), Generation Z expects these values as a given. Companies such as the Fujitsu Corporation believe Generation Zers will continue to advance positive values as they move into positions of influence at home, at work, and in society. No surprise, they are doing it already: Check out these exciting wellness-seeking projects by these ambitious young adults.
I know each participant in our leader-to-leader forum took their own inspiration away from these and the other trends Tom illustrated. For me, the “so what” was two-fold. First, it was gratifying to get out of the trenches and realize that working toward sustainable wellness in our personal and professional lives is no longer a lonely task. It is a drive that is gaining momentum and support. And second, I appreciated Tom’s ability to open eyes to the leaders among us, regardless of age or gender. When we welcome the contributions of any of the creative-thinking trendsetters among us, then we have truly joined a positive, healthy trend in leadership.
Photo by eman_winston