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Holiday Newsletter 2016

Happy Holidays, 2016! Here are some ideas to prepare your market sensing for the new year and some of my latest Forbes posts.

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To Find the Right Trends use Scenario Planning

“Scenario Planning” sounds like an esoteric MBA topic. But, it could not be a more valuable tool to identify Trends. The success or failure of your marketing plan or your company are dependent on trends. Here’s how to find the right Trends to follow.

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Fall Signals Changes- How will You React?

Market changes are not as obvious as Fall is on the calendar. This newsletter is all about predicting change, and preparing to pivot to meet those changes. Growing firms know that adapting – pivoting – is essential, and it always requires reading the trends and preparing to change.

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Summer is a Great Time to Plan White Space projects

August is beach season – you are probably on, near or thinking about relaxing on a beach! Well, to an innovation/disruption expert like me, beaches remind me of…white space! That’s the market which is beyond the “box” of the current success formula.

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Put some Fireworks in your Business Innovation!

Did you sample the televised fireworks broadcasts on July 4th? Ratings confirmed that over 17 million people tuned in to the national broadcasts, and millions more watched locally broadcast displays as well. Advertisers have capitalized on this growing audience.
Why are more people watching these shows? What happened to the picnic blanket and the concussion of loud shells? In a word: Trends.

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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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