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The Market Values Trends, Shouldn’t You?

Summer is here in the Northern Hemisphere, and it is time to get outside. And it is also time to take a new look at what’s going on outside your business.
Why do most companies spend all their resources on projects that support the current, internal company status quo? Why is 85% of corporate public information focused on the past? Why is past data scrutinized ad nauseum? Why does the planning process rely almost exclusively on past results? After all, isn’t it most important to project what will happen…in the future?

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Cosmic Cataclysm, Jurassic Park, Rain Drops, Tesla

No, this isn’t an SAT question, but what do they have in common? Ripples.
Ripples as in wavelets. Stock market theory for years has taught about ripples, waves and tides as an analogy for patterns in financial markets. The same idea can be extended to using trends as a way to anticipate business opportunities.

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How does your company manage risk?

How does your company manage risk?
Companies prepare for the most visible risks, such as in-kind competition, supplier failures or regulatory change. They build “moats” around the core business up and down the value chain. They buy suppliers, buy distributors, use industry standards to increase cost of entry, add new features and bundled pricing plans, influence favorable legislation – countless other techniques.

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Key Examples of Underlying Trends and What they Signal

In the last newsletter, I talked about the importance of incorporating trends into business plans, organizations and innovation programs. An analysis of the subtle features behind a surface trend, or event, often shows they are born from changes in underlying conditions. Most of an iceberg is below the surface. Here are two examples of surface events and understanding how they can be analyzed to expose underlying trends:

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Trends in the New Year

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping you had a restful and pleasant holiday season, and you are recharged for completing the flurry of activity that typically begins every new year. What we once considered the safest of investments – real estate – did a 180 in the first decade of the 2000s. Bonds lost all value as interest rates fell to zero. And although the stock market climbed a world of worry from 2008 to 2014, 2015 ended negatively and 2016 started with the worst 4 day record in history! Given stock market events in December and January, many readers are confused about where they should invest – or if they should invest at all!

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Holidays 2015 Newsletter

Happy Holidays! Over the last few months I have had a number of international meetings in Hong Kong, Bali, Rome, Madrid and Marrakesh. Companies and associations in many countries have increased their focus on innovation in products, marketing and sales as a defense against marketplace disruptions. Senior execs recognize the need to identify and sidestep the status quo lock-ins in their companies as a first step to generate more internal ideas and absorb trends from the marketplace.

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On the Road- Speaking on Trends

Where have I been? For the last 2 years, I’ve been deeply involved with the National Association of Corporate Directors. After completing coursework on legal and strategic elements of public directorship, I achieved certification as an NACD Board Leadership Fellow. Also because “black hat” activities have reached into the corporate world, as a director, I needed to be prepared and I completed the certification training on “Cybersecurity and the Board of Directors.”

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