Trend Spotting for Early Warning Systems

May 16, 2018

Question: How do you spot trends that could impact your business BEFORE you read about them in your trade publications – or worse, run head first into them.

Answer: Keep your eyes open for trends in other industries, like the rise of automation in the restaurant industry as pressures develop to increase hourly employee wages.

Let me give you four examples looking at emerging trends taken from publications I read in the same week:

  • Artificial intelligence (in the business travel industry): “Will AI Redefine Buyer-Supplier Dynamics”, Business Travel News, April 23, 2018, 22-4.
  • Commoditization in the (independent meeting planning industry): ” J.T. Long, “Preparing for a Leaner Commission World”, Smart, May 2018, 40-42.
  • Unbundling businesses (in technology and chemicals) “World’s Greatest Leaders”, Fortune, May 3, 2018
  • Increases in lobbying costs to protect prices (in pharmaceuticals) Jay Hancock and Elizabeth Lucas:, “Drug Prices Are Increasing. So Is Big Pharma Lobbying”, Fortune, May 3, 2018, 16.

One lesson, or perhaps an underlying truth: change affects everyone, just at different times and in different ways. If you can identify what kind of wave may be coming by seeing what is happening to others, you improve your chances of spotting it earlier.

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