Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant in life.”
Being flexible, thinking fast on our feet, and not striving to reach some mythical state of perfection helps us to cope with the daily ups and downs of business. However, it is also wise to keep scanning the horizon to spot and plan for big changes that can threaten or boost companies’ future profitability. There are societal, economic and environmental trends that will likely affect clients, production and employees and for which it is vital to plan (and then revisit the plan regularly).
Early recognition of the growing strength of Asian countries, initially in the cheap production of goods and more recently in artificial intelligence (A.I.) and large infrastructure projects, has meant that some forward-thinking companies and individuals invested significantly in China, as early as 20 years ago. Forecasting the increased use of 3D Printing and Robotisation has enabled some agile businesses to produce better products faster.
Of course, there will always be surprises that no one had predicted, and it is difficult to correctly forecast the timing and true impact of something ahead of time, however taking the global Covid-19 pandemic as an example, even this was to some extent predictable as our increasingly interconnected world makes disease transmission quick and difficult to isolate. Assessing the potential impact of future pandemics on business continuity and business models and adopting an agile approach is what has made the difference between those industries that have been shaken to the core and are struggling to recover, those that have boomed but will nevertheless fade away, and those that are building on the extraordinary growth they have experienced.
Spotting and taking account of trends is not therefore just an interesting exercise in mental gymnastics but is core to running a successful, sustainable business, and on a personal level to garnering the relevant skills to ensure a long and rewarding career. Taking the time to research, analyse and forecast the future helps you to make better decisions.
At this time, with the summer months behind us, many companies are resetting their priorities and management teams are looking to the future with a wide spectrum of views. Some are anxious or cautious. Some are excited. All are acutely aware that we need to better understand global trends and the forces that will determine our ever-changing world.
To find out how to identify and stay on top of new trends, click here.
To discover our top 36 Global Trends, click here.
To download a .pdf infographic of our 36 Global Trends, click here.
To take our quiz to find out whether you are ‘On-Trend’, click here.
To find out about our transformational Openness, Visioning and Effectiveness (OV&E) seminars, click here.
Photos by Will van Wingerden and Diggity Marketing on Unsplash