The Trend Management Toolkit
eBook - ePub

The Trend Management Toolkit

A Practical Guide to the Future

A. Kjaer

Share book
  1. English
  2. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  3. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

The Trend Management Toolkit

A Practical Guide to the Future

A. Kjaer

Book details
Book preview
Table of contents

About This Book

In a fast moving world, businesses need to keep up with data analysis and pattern spotting to identify future opportunities. Anne Lise Kjaer presents a unique methodology for global trend spotting along with practical tools and approaches to help companies and organizations analyse market changes and determine the way ahead.

Frequently asked questions

How do I cancel my subscription?
Simply head over to the account section in settings and click on “Cancel Subscription” - it’s as simple as that. After you cancel, your membership will stay active for the remainder of the time you’ve paid for. Learn more here.
Can/how do I download books?
At the moment all of our mobile-responsive ePub books are available to download via the app. Most of our PDFs are also available to download and we're working on making the final remaining ones downloadable now. Learn more here.
What is the difference between the pricing plans?
Both plans give you full access to the library and all of Perlego’s features. The only differences are the price and subscription period: With the annual plan you’ll save around 30% compared to 12 months on the monthly plan.
What is Perlego?
We are an online textbook subscription service, where you can get access to an entire online library for less than the price of a single book per month. With over 1 million books across 1000+ topics, we’ve got you covered! Learn more here.
Do you support text-to-speech?
Look out for the read-aloud symbol on your next book to see if you can listen to it. The read-aloud tool reads text aloud for you, highlighting the text as it is being read. You can pause it, speed it up and slow it down. Learn more here.
Is The Trend Management Toolkit an online PDF/ePUB?
Yes, you can access The Trend Management Toolkit by A. Kjaer in PDF and/or ePUB format, as well as other popular books in Business & Business Mathematics. We have over one million books available in our catalogue for you to explore.




From facts to feelings

In the past, when I mentioned “feelings” to companies the immediate response was: “We are not interested in feelings about the future, we want facts.”
Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who won his prize in economics, noted in an interview for UK newspaper The Guardian in 2012:1
Many people now say they knew a financial crisis was coming, but they didn’t really. After a crisis we tell ourselves we understand why it happened and maintain the illusion that the world is understandable. In fact, we should accept the world is incomprehensible much of the time.
While I agree with part of Kahneman’s statement, I also believe that very often the writing is on the wall before seismic change occurs – we simply need a method of tuning into the vibrations of our universe. This means that, alongside the gathering of data and insights to give us rational knowledge, we must develop our intuition to enable us to predict and develop strategies for change.

Introducing trend management as a concept

To make sense of the future, even the seemingly sudden shifts, we must have a system in place that sifts and correlates trends. The Trend Management Toolkit is such a system, acting as a platform for integrated thinking that allows us to anticipate developments and make more informed choices in the present about the future. At its simplest, the process of managing trends involves observing specific changes or advances, as well as considering the general direction in which society is moving. But to do this consistently and with confidence, it is essential to have a trend management system that deals with the complexity of diverse information, fosters alternative viewpoints, and generates fresh thoughts. This offers a structure that makes trend forecasting come alive, enabling us to discover and analyze trends that tell us something about the future as well as inspiring timely ideas and solutions.
The system I describe in this book is a powerful strategic method developed for making sense of the many multifaceted, sometimes conflicting, drivers influencing today’s reality and tomorrow’s world. Trend mapping and scenario building are typically part of the trend management process, in which we build narratives around nascent trends to consider likely outcomes for organizations by projecting the impact for business development, product design, and service concepts. We use a wide range of data for broad insight, incorporating experts’ opinions as well as case studies and analysis to build a 360-degree outlook. The outcome is a framework that can be applied to everything from new business models, innovation and design strategies to brand building and marketing.

Decoding society and human behavior

Future forecasting is a relatively new and developing field. However, in recent decades, it has become an increasingly widely accepted decision-making tool for assessing societal influences, economic drivers, and – ultimately – boosting sales to increase revenues and reputation. Over the past 20 years, my team and I have built tools and processes to help companies and organizations navigate the future, often refining and developing these tools in response to the specific challenges faced by the organizations we’ve worked with, as well as taking on board new theories and approaches as we’ve added fresh research perspectives to our multidisciplinary practice. Today, this methodology allows us to combine a wide spectrum of trend snapshots to create viable and inspirational scenarios.
One of our vital tools is the Trend Atlas, a visual sense-making platform that integrates management of a wide variety of data and information to provide insights for determining what lies ahead. The Trend Atlas is a structured compilation of macro trends that acts as a compass, enabling us to decode the socioeconomic and cultural contexts of society to decipher patterns that provide a framework for projection, planning, and ideation. Trend management combines a wide spectrum of drivers and insights to create powerful future sound bites. These are essentially the building blocks for creating sustainable and credible future narratives that make it possible for companies to explore potential developments, both short to medium term. The narratives are underpinned by a variety of research findings and insights – not just numbers – and enable us to contextualize lifestyle situations that consider people’s future preferences, choices, and actions. In effect, we are teleported into the future and encouraged to ask the big “what if?” questions. The narratives are more compelling than a simple forecast and allow organizations to visualize future situations in a believable, multilayered way. As such, they become powerful tools for imagining the future and creating sound strategies, as well as managing risk.
The sociology of people is an essential component in understanding the future, but we also need to factor in the sociology of things – technology in particular, as technological development plays a key role in the interpretation of how global economies and cultures connect. This is another key reason why multidimensional trend management is fundamental for imagining the future. Its much broader set of research tools invite us to detach ourselves from our current, local context, consider the whole picture and thereby view our organization holistically to understand how we come across to the rest of the world – a process we call “looking from the outside in.” In order to assist our clients develop their critical thinking about the future, we also consider the evolution of societies, businesses, lifestyle patterns, and the environment. We find that when we observe the past and present, it’s possible to gain deeper insights into how the future might unfold. In a nutshell, trend management assists with the process of mapping out current trends and influences for businesses within a society-wide context.

The evolution of future studies

The business of trend forecasting and the need for it is nothing new; indeed, there have always been thinkers and seers imagining the future (see Table 1.1). However, it is only in the last half-century that it has become a discernible business with its own distinct methodologies and objectives. One of the first books ever written on future studies, The Language of Forecasting, with a French-English vocabulary by François Hetman, was first published in 1969.2 The foreword notes that forecasting, as developed by Gaston Berger, originally focused on the philosophical questions, later developing an economic twist from Bertrand de Jouvenel and then adding politics and sociology to the mix. It adds:
TABLE 1.1 Some key influencers through time
Year Name Expertise and future-focused studies
1452–1519 Leonardo da Vinci Italian Artist, engineer, scientist and inventor, architect, musician, mathematician, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. Surviving notebooks reveal the most eclectic of predictive minds. Key publications: Codex Arundel (1480), Codex Leicester (1508), Codex Atlanticus (1519)
1828–1905 Jules Verne French Novelist, poet, and playwright. Inspired many future scientists with his body of science fiction collected within Voyages Extraordinaires (1863–1905). Key publications: Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), Around the World in Eighty Days (1873)
1856–1943 Nikola Tesla Serbian-American Futurist inventor, electrical mechanical engineer, and physicist. Devised the modern alternating current electricity supply system, with 300 inventions patented worldwide and amazing 21st-century predictions
1866–1946 H.G. Wells English Futurist and science fiction author, with wide-ranging interests in science and social policy. Considered among the founders of future studies. Key publications: The Time Machine (1895), The War of the Worlds (1898), Anticipations (1901), A Modern Utopia (1905), The Shape of Things to Come (1933), World Brain (1936–38)
1895–1983 Buckminster Fuller American Futurist, architect, systems theorist, author, designer, and inventor. Key publications: 4D Timelock (1928), Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1968), Critical Path (1981)
1896–1960 Gaston Berger French Futurist, industrialist, philosopher, and modernizer of French university system. Contributed noted analysis of Edmund Husserl’s work. Key publication: Recherches sur les conditions de la connaissance (1941)
1900–86 Walter Greiling German Futurist and chemist. Researched agricultural microbiology and predicted that systematic international efforts to mitigate climate change would begin in 1990. Key publication: Wie werden wir leben? Ein Buch von den Aufgaben unserer Zeit (1954)
1903–87 Bertrand de Jouvenel French Futurist, political economist, philosopher, and author. Pioneer of future studies. Key publications: On Power: The Natural History of Its Growth (1945), The Ethics of Redistribution (1951)
1906–92 Grace Hopper American Mathematician, computer scientist, and US Navy rear admiral. One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and developed the first compiler for computer programming language
1907–85 Fred Polak Dutch Futurist, philosopher, and sociologist. Theorized the central role of imagined alternative futures. Key publication: The Image of the Future (1973)
1911–80 Marshall McLuhan Canadian Futurist, media theorist, philosopher, and author. Coined the phrases “the medium is the message” and “the global village” and predicted the World Wide Web in the 1960s. Key publications: The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), Understanding Media (1964), Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967), The Global Village: Transformations in World Life and Media in the 21st Century (1989)
1915–69 M.G. Gordon American Futurist, businessman, inventor, and social theorist. Advocate for privacy rights and envisioned expanded telephone network as the ideal social network
1916– Jacque Fresco American Stru...

Table of contents