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Chapter 2

Trendspotting
• Attempting to see the future in the present
• Coolhunting and trend analysis – being able to predict a trend is a
valued skill for the global citizen

Ways:
• It begins with environmental scanning or engaging in the process of
gathering information.
• We analyze the environment – look for distant objects or signals that
give early warnings of changes in the environment
Scanning demands – covers a wide spectrum of sources in order to
reveal events in the community that are commonly known and
commonly thought important. (i.e. Media)

Trendspotters do not content themselves with secondary sources. They


immerse themselves directly with people, within places and in events
where significant moments may be happening.
There is competitive advantage in noticing new forces earlier than
others or in being able to assemble a fuller picture of what is coming
before others do.
Scanning comes first before spotting a trend. After all materials are
gathered, they are analyzed and contextualized for trend significance.
From each new event or data point, the analyst will be asking:
1. Does this fit a pattern?
2. Is this suggestive of a pattern?
3. Is this part of a bigger phenomenon, a growth or decline of
significance that will change the environment?
4. Does it offer threat and opportunities, and will it change what is
required of organizations in order for it to be successful?
• Trendspotting is a cognitive idea. A pattern is not there until somebody
characterizes it. (Some trends are relatively easy and nobody would
contend their interpretation)
• If the evidence of the trend is unclear, different analysis will emerge and
data will be observed from different viewpoints or paradigms. This is the
case when some see a trend while others do not, or see a different trend
instead.
Where is this trend heading
in the future?
Projecting Trends
• Trend-based projection is the main business of forecasting and by far,
the most common basis of prediction among professional forecasters.
Note: Trend projection is also skeptical. It does not ask why a trend is
moving. It’s a notification that it is moving and amplifies this
development into what is to come.
Drivers, Enablers, Friction and Blockers

Change Drivers Enablers


• Advances of technology makes • An empowering influence is a
trend visible evidence of change component that advances or
drivers at work. encourages a driver.
• For example, better access to • For example, the development
health care, healthier lifestyle of a new technology that helps
and so on. mitigate climate change can be
facilitated through government
laboratory funding, etc.
Friction Blockers
• It is the resistance to change • May take the form of new law,
that occurs naturally and politics, street protests, and
inevitably due to learned habits other factors. They occur when
of seeing and doing things. people try to stop a change. In
People tend to judge the Philippines, citizens are
innovations against the current clamoring for the Freedom of
way they do things as they are Information Bill to eventually
socially and culturally invested in become a law but it is a least
known, familiar patterns. priority among local politicians.
• We can in this way think about the future as powers for change –
change drivers and empowering agent – working contrary to strength
acting against it – grinding and blockers. Genuine enduring change
can occur if and when drivers overwhelm blockers.
• The global village has major categories of driving forces and blockers.
Each category breaks down into many subcategories and factors that
wil have change-driving or blocking properties. A good forecast will
investigate each of these categories, and provide a sense of the
balance of power for and against the trend.
1. Technology 2. Powerful individuals and powerful
• It is the most powerful force for organizations
change in the world today. It • Regularly, rulers, presidents,
provides new capabilities that superstars and individuals have
make change possible in the impact to accomplish this
products and services, and People’s Power is joined with
institutional force of the
business models. Better government, military or
technologies allow us to do corporate force. (some
more for less and make changes institutions in baking, media may
on how we do things. become powerful to drive trends
or block them)
3. Ideas and ideologies 4. Social and moral values
• We act with our thoughts and • These are related to ideas but
philosophies, and along these lines have a slightly different function
drive social, political, monetary
and mechanical decisions for what because values change very
is to come. Driving or blocking slowly, if at all, so they mostly
thoughts and belief systems might apply brakes on the future.
be archetypical thoughts.
• As with ideologies, different
• This means that trend-driving ideas social groups and different
may strengthen or weaken,
changing the fores underpinning or choices, so conflicts or values
countering a trend. surface over whether we should
block the future or not.