Article

Taking advantage of future trends

– a strategic perspective

Authors

In the periphery of society, the future is already emerging. From a multitude of tendencies, a few turn into the trends that will form the future. As businesses, it is important that we keep an eye on the periphery to investigate the trends that will become the prime influencers of our future business environments.

A flow from edge to centre

Trends are shaping the potential future of society, people and businesses. They start their life off among a multitude of different tendencies, and slowly, the patterns turn into more particular characteristics and become relatively well-known in the wider populations as the tendency becomes a trend. With time, even more people adopt the trend characteristics, and the trend will – over time – become a new societal discourse or standard.

How trends influence industry-specific business models

Trends catalyse different strategic issues and opportunities that can be addressed with advantage when making decisions about where we want to take our organisations in the future as well as when we make everyday business choices.

When we talk about trends, we talk about them on different levels:

  • Fundamental mega trends set the stage for the general development of the world and provide the foundation for the trends shaping society and business.
  • Society and business trends are the forces that shape how people live and work. They are closer to our daily lives but are still quite broad and general.
  • Industry-specific business model trends. The industry-specific business model impact that makes the trends tangible and highlights necessary/possible actions that a company can take.

Businesses should keep an eye on all three levels to stay on top of their game, as this eventually allows for investigating how these developments could be turned into opportunities for specific businesses.

How to know when to get on board

Businesses that focus on predicting the prime influencing trends early on are better able to prepare for the impact of trends on their business models – which is why it is important to board the right trends at the right time.

The maturity level of trends – from phenomenon to manifestation.

At Implement, we have set up a dedicated Trends Team that scans the market for trend patterns using the leading trend bureaus as a point of reference. The team conducts an explorative and systematic trend mapping study to identify and map the contemporary trends that will shape future businesses and thereafter – in collaboration with your teams – decides on the trends as well as when and in what way it is optimal to board.

The team selects the relevant trends based on the following criteria:
  • Novelty (brings new perspective to the table)
  • Resonates (with the wider population)
  • Actionable (drives possible and attractive business opportunities)

Each trend has further been validated and unfolded with supporting numbers and cases, which can be accessed through the links below.

Trends forming in 2019

In our Trends Team, we have identified six global trends forming in 2019. Each trend includes three sub-trends, which are exemplified with real-life cases from cutting-edge businesses. With the examples, we try to provide glimpses into a potential future new normality.

More to come on the six trends and sub-trends.

The six trends are;
Empowered humans

Rising wealth, welfare and technology give power to humans to control and boost their personal lives. Businesses will be seeking to satisfy the needs of the single individual, moving away from mass targeting.

Organisations reimagined

Organisations of the future will be flatter, more networked, collaborative, human-focused, hyper-specialised, informal, localised, outsourced, project-based, purpose-led and virtual.

Augmented living

We are approaching the augmented age, where computing and technological integration will permeate all aspects of living based on four key disruptive themes – artificial intelligence, experience design, smart infrastructure and healthtech.

Connected world

Global connections provide people and organisations with new possibilities for co-operation and influence.

Supercharged relativism

As confidence in organisations and institutions declines, the search for trustworthy alternatives evolves and a more polarised world emerges.

Pervasive sustainability

Sustainability-driven innovations are going to change the way we live, travel, produce and eat.