Every technology blog out there will tell you about the rapid pace of change: financial institutions rushing to keep up with new technology, healthcare companies that are learning about new cybersecurity threats, even our government is working to modernize. But how do you track these new trends and what questions are you asking to make sure that these trends are relevant to you?
One of the first activities that innovators have to take on is finding a meaningful problem to solve. After all, solutions come from needs and problems that exist in our environment. But one of the first things that they have to do when identifying a problem is look at existing information. That might be employee feedback, customer feedback or they could start by looking at the emerging trends around them.
Let’s look at just one. The autonomous vehicle trend is going to impact more than the automotive industry. For example, NYC took in 1.9 Billion in funding from parking violations last year. In fact, one researcher said that 23% percent of general revenue to local governments come from charges and fees like parking. What happens in the age of autonomous vehicles where cars can drop off their owners and then return home on their own without incurring any parking violations? How will government prepare for that sizeable drop in revenue?
So if you’re looking at long-term planning, it’s a good idea to look at some emerging trends and think about how they relate to you. So make a list of some emerging trends and start by asking the following ten questions:
- Does this address a basic human need?
- Is this similar to the need our company serves?
- Does this fit somewhere in my value chain?
- Are my competitors or partners already addressing this?
- Could this improve a process at my company?
- How could this change my customer’s behavior?
- How could this change my employee’s behavior?
- What are the ethical impacts of this trend?
- What will make this trend successful?
- What will make this trend fail?