Future-fit organizations actively sense and respond to disruptions and anticipate change, but that requires a rigorous and deliberate approach to scouting for trends. Gartner segments key trends and disruptions into seven major categories, so you can begin to build planning assumptions most relevant for your strategic plans.
A recent Gartner survey found that only 38% of organizations have a formal process for this type of trendspotting. “Most use an ad hoc approach,” says Marty Resnick, VP Analyst, Gartner. “This leads to a disjointed effort that risks not taking full advantage of the positive impact a formal trendspotting approach will have on overall strategic assumptions and planning.”
A deliberate approach ensures that executive leaders consider trends and disruptions that exist outside of their core responsibilities, where emerging trends might be more familiar. For example, it prompts IT leaders to look beyond just impactful technology trends. Ignoring or devaluing non-technology trends will only result in gaps in the strategic planning process because your inputs are incomplete.
Some disruptions are more obvious than others, which is why trendspotting must be an ongoing, continuous discipline. “Oftentimes, there are inflection points and wild cards that shake up an industry,” says Resnick. “The sooner you spot these the better and the more fit your organization will become in the way it senses and responds.”
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