Science and fiction of the future
As far as I remember myself, I was always mad about the future. I just feel I belong there. As a strategist at my day job, as a dreamer in my hobbies. Whether it’s sience (trying to figure out long-term vision for my client’s company) or fiction (sketching a space adventure story), there are three questions that define every future-related conversation. I’m on a quest for answers, and you’re welcome to join. This will be fun!
Three fundamental questions to the future
How the future will look like?
Certainly, there is no single answer to this question. Think about it as a multiverse of options with different probabilities to happen. We will study the world to define where we are today. We will search for trends to see the direction of changes.
How do I see myself in the future?
Whether it’s you or your company, there should be a vision. Where are you going? What will be the ideal outcome? When should you shape yourself and when is the world? We will learn how to dream to define the future from the future rather than from today.
How to get there?
Strategy. Transformation. Managing change. Dreams’re only as good as the steps you make to fulfill them. This is where I have a home-court advantage: starting as a marketing strategist and driving Partnership Transformation for one of the leading global brands today. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned about making the future come true in the last 17 years.
Two uncomfortable questions to trend reports
I’m reading about a hundred trend reports every year, and I have a question to it. In fact, two questions.
It’s too much, isn’t it?
Trend reports started with Top-10 shifts happening in an industry. Now it’s up to 100 things you should know about. Is it still trends or just a bad attempt of writing down everything that is happening around? It feels useless. Too many trends is a good sign you should look for megatrends behind them.
Trends are not changing on Jan 1st, aren’t they?
According to Google Trends, people are searching for trends the most in October and between January and March. All biggest trend reports are published around November-January. It makes me think we’ve selected the wrong format. Yes, we’re all fans of New Year resolutions, but…
First, the financial year in the biggest companies is now different. This means most of the planning is happening on different timelines. Second, while we are talking about being agile so much, shouldn’t we keep up with the trends on the go and utilize them when they are discovered, not published? Will the trend of the month be more appropriate? Maybe there is a place for new Netflix series (e.g. “Explained”) talking about long-term megatrends. I’ll do my best to shape something worthy out of this subscription.
Forrester Predictions 2022: 2020 goals in post-apocalyptic decorations
There are different ways to read trends, but I always like to start with perspective. 2020 reports published in Oct-Dec 2019 were the last ones before COVID. 2021, from a year ago, was COVID-only or mostly COVID. In 2022, we are looking for hints on how humanity is dealing with this and what’s coming next.
2021 Forrester Predictions report was clearly different from the previous years. While earlier reports were focusing on consumer and tech, this one was about companies’ internal kitchens: leadership, teams, new workspace, and role of partnerships.
It’s fair to say, Forrester’s 2022 is much closer to 2020 than to 2021. There are two big ideas between the lines.
Companies are facing consumers (again), but consumers are different already
Spending a year solving internal issues ad-hock, companies that survived 2021 are ready to turn their attention back to the consumers. The people they see are now different. The pandemic experience resulted in two major shifts that we still need to process and understand: shift in values and shift in habits.
Operations are different already, so companies need to face operations (again)
Supply chain issues as well as changes in the global market ecosystem have a ripple effect on almost each and every company in the world. With this, internal infrastructure and processes require a serious revision in order to adjust to the new reality: from new tech solutions to new channels and new partners.