To make trends actionable and insightful for individuals and companies, I uncover the emotional drivers behind the trends I identify. In that way, I am able to go beyond the simple observation or 'trend spotting'. I understand the context within which a new trend is emerging, and I am able to identify the meaning behind it. I can evaluate whether or not this trend is likely to become more important in the future and how it will impact an organisation. There is no magic involved but instead a lot of research, observation and empathy building.
I organize my trends according to 3 dimensions:
Individual: people have personal motivations and aspirations that are evolving.
Societal: groups and organisations operate according to new systems and frameworks to succeed in the digital economy.
Technological: technology is embedded into the fabric of our lives and as a result people are developing new relationships with it.
To build the future we want for ourselves, we need to have a point of view about it. We need to identify our own aspirations and decide what we would like to achieve. Trends are a great tool to help build a future vision.
I have used this methodology for over a decade with large and small companies, in the private and public sectors, across many different industries and markets. They have all found this tool extremely impactful and many have now integrated trends research as part of their innovation and strategic process.