|This is map of the worlds oceans currents and gyres based on a "dolphins perspective" that is where the oceans are shown as a single body of water and the flux can be easier understood without cutting it anywhere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Exclusive First Read Every week through October 2013, we will post a short excerpt from our Summer Innovation Book Club Pick: Killing Ideas - You can kill an idea, you can't kill an opportunity By NewEdge CEO, Dr. Pam Henderson
We have to get comfortable, even fluent, in the types of change to watch for, from megatrends to microtrends, cycles to seeds of new things to come. Each helps us look out across the opportunity landscape to see where new opportunity might emerge.
Change in our world opens and closes the windows of opportunity. Without change we would soon exhaust the opportunities we have. People change, technologies change, cultures change and so opportunities emerge or disappear for new products and services. Change is like reshuffling a deck. It can turn up just the cards we need or deal us hands we didn’t expect.
Megatrends are the major weather patterns blowing across our opportunity landscape. Today those older than 60 number 817 million. By 2050 they will number 2 billion.
Microtrends, conversely, affect a subset of industries, regions, or people groups. Not everyone is aware of or would ever care about the fact that there is a global shortage of helium!
Like the first snowflake foretells a possible winter wonderland, so the first and almost undetectable
glimmer of change in an ecosystem may foretell the next big trend. A viral video on the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” told the story of plastic products and water bottles gathering in a vortex in the Pacific, a vortex some claim to be the size of Texas. Tedx, government regulations, and water bottle-friendly drinking fountains later, the seed has sprouted and grown.
Just as seasonal weather cycles vary year-to-year, the cycles of trends have their own idiosyncrasies. Fashions repeat, the economy cycles, political topics return to vogue, and pendulums swing in organizational approaches to growth.
Two trends both may be in full force but at the same time appear to be at odds. People no longer consider themselves to be online or offline because with smart phones we are in a constant state of connectivity. At the same time there is a
Counter trend toward disconnecting. - Killing Ideas, Ch 4, Big Trends
- See our Summer Innovation Book Club Pick: Killing ideas. Participate in the Author Q&A here.