In a rapidly changing world filled with uncertainty, research is crucial for gaining new knowledge and insights. Trend research, in particular, offers a structured approach to understanding and anticipating change.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how immersing yourself in trend research will have 5 essential effects. Executing trend research yourself can really help to tackle organisational challenges.
Working with trend research…:
1: Cultivates the long view
Firstly, by incorporating trend research in your work you can break free from short-term thinking and consider the long-term impact of your decisions. That’s because thinking beyond the present helps to consider the quality of life of not only current but also future generations.
Approaches like forecasting, scenario planning, strategic foresight and trend research all cultivate this long view. They all fall under the umbrella of ‘futures studies’. By incorporating these approaches into your work and decision-making processes, you start breaking free from the cycle of short-term thinking. You become more future literate.
2: Stimulates your futures consciousness
Besides cultivating the long view, engaging in future-related activities, such as researching trends, helps train your awareness of the future. The concept of “future consciousness” was developed by researchers at the Finland Futures Research Centre (University of Turku and University of Geneva). It describes and measures the human capacity to understand, anticipate, prepare for and embrace the future.
3: Helps to detect change
Also, immersing yourself in trend research makes you become more attuned and receptive to change. Scanning activities, such as field and desk research, help you identify early signs of change. They help to foster an outside-in perspective. The more you practice, the quicker you will find interesting signals.
4: Creates an understanding of change
Furthermore, analysing the detected signals of change and their underlying drivers helps you to gain a comprehensive cross-industry perspective. You go beyond mere observations by understanding WHY these signals are happening. Analyse trends yourself and you will be able to see the human values and needs behind new thoughts, products and services.
5: Clarifies how to respond to change
And last but not least: your trends insights can be utilised as a foundation for vision building, strategy development, and decision making. Engaging in the trend process helps you to prioritise trends for your organisational challenges. It enables you to translate them into concrete actions that improve people’s future quality of life.
To wrap it up:
Researching trends offers a powerful tool for navigating an ever-changing world. By embracing the long view, training your futures consciousness and immersing yourself into scanning, analysing and applying trends, you can make more informed decisions and actively shape the future.
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