ShiftCentral / The importance of trend-tracking in an uncertain world

The importance of trend-tracking in an uncertain world

Uncertainty was the word of the year in 2016 and this continues into the beginning of this year. Quick, significant changes are occurring after the U.S. presidential election and the U.K.’s Brexit process is taking shape. This year, Europe is set to see more political uncertainty as countries including Germany, France and the Netherlands are scheduled for elections.

Add to this the constant and rapid development of technology. Digitization and automation of services, from financial to retail sectors, continue to take place alongside other innovations.

In times like these, businesses need to have a clear vision and mission that can guide their strategy. But that strategy needs to be fluid enough to navigate the rapidly changing world, or companies could perish. Data from Innosight and S&P shows the average company lifespan on the S&P 500 Index was over 50 years in 1960. That figure has since been on a decline. By 2025, the average lifespan will be closer to 10 years.

Tracking and understanding industry and mega-trends are key to shaping scenarios that will inform strategy. Without understanding demographic trends, for instance, companies could be blindsided by changes in consumer behavior. Moreover, tracking trends could keep businesses on their toes - ready to pivot when necessary and avoid getting outcompeted by rivals in terms of innovation and talent acquisition or retention.

As strategy cycles often don’t coincide with business needs, in order for key decisions to be taken quickly, businesses need a constant stream of high-quality, curated information. This is why, in an uncertain world, tracking trends consistently, regularly and in a timely manner is even more important.