In or Out? 4 Business Trends Leaders can't Ignore in 2024

By: The Humphrey Group

The last five years have seen an unprecedented amount of change in the workplace landscape. More than ever, it is essential for leaders to step up and determine what ideas and tactics will shape the future of business.

That said, as we stand on the brink of 2024, it’s equally important to consider which trends are on their way out. So, let’s dive in: Which business trends are in – and which are out – for 2024?


The Trend: Speaking up on social issues

What It Is

More and more, companies are recognizing the influential role they play in shaping societal conversations, and they’re leveraging their platforms to address pertinent global issues.

Whether it's climate change, a social justice issue, or ethical business practices, organizations have been compelled to participate in discussions that extend beyond the confines of their industries.


The Verdict: In - if it’s authentic

While speaking up for what is right is always a good move, there’s nothing worse than co-opting a serious cause for social, political or monetary gain. And consumers or clients are savvy; they can tell the difference.

Before speaking up, organizations should consider whether they are coming from a place of authenticity and whether they can practically sustain the stance they take. Ultimately, if a cause is important to your organization or aligned with your people, speak up. But don’t do it because it’s trendy.


The Trend: Incorporating AI into your organization

What It Is
Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into organizational processes continues to gain momentum. From streamlining operations to enhancing data analysis, businesses are leveraging AI technologies to achieve efficiency, productivity, and innovation.

AI is being implemented in various aspects of the workplace, such as chatbots for customer service, data-driven decision-making, and predictive analytics. What used to sound positively futuristic is becoming more common every day.


The Verdict: In

This one isn’t going anywhere. As the technology continues to evolve, clever businesses and workers will learn how to leverage AI to automate routine tasks, analyze vast datasets, and generally improve productivity without needing more hours in a day.

If you or your organization want to remain competitive, it’s going to be important to strategically embrace AI. However, some big things to consider moving forward are how to do so ethically and with consideration for any implications relevant to your industry.


The Trend: Maintaining a presence on multiple social media platforms

What it is
In recent years, businesses from a variety of industries have tried to take an omnichannel approach to social media. This approach involves creating a presence on multiple social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and any others that may be industry specific.

When done right, organizations deliver a consistent message and brand image across various social media platforms, which ideally expands their ability to reach potential customers and clients.


The Verdict: Out

While having a presence on multiple social media platforms can enhance visibility, many businesses are beginning to shift toward a more strategic and focused approach. If your organization does not have the capacity – and budget – to do omnichannel very well, the risk is that this approach dilutes the effort.

It’s more important to critically assess which platforms align best with your business’ target audience and business goals. Quality over quantity is becoming increasingly important in the evolving landscape of social media engagement. Plus, your marketing team will thank you.


Trend: Evolving leadership in a remote world

What It Is
Leadership strategies are undergoing a significant transformation in response to the continued rise of remote work. This trend delves into exploring how leaders are adapting to new challenges, particularly in the context of hybrid work models.

It focuses on the evolving dynamics of leadership when teams are geographically dispersed and emphasizes fostering connection and collaboration among remote team members.


The Verdict: In

While this “trend” is undoubtedly reflective of the modern work landscape, its success lies in the hands of leaders who can seamlessly blend technology with human connection. The verdict is "In," but with a caveat – this goes far beyond the logistical aspects of remote work.

Being a successful leader in this digital age requires a commitment to fostering genuine connections, leveraging technology to enhance collaboration, and staying attuned to the unique needs of a distributed team. It's about elevating your leadership skills to meet the ever-evolving reality of the modern workplace.


2024 business trends through the lens of leadership 

Yes, staying ahead of the curve is a necessity. But in 2024, the business leaders who thrive will be the ones who navigate the trends with agility and discernment. Not all trends are good, and not all good trends will be right for your business.

At the core, this is about embracing the shifts that bring authenticity, strategic value, and human connection to the forefront of the organizational landscape.