February 7, 2012

12 Days of Innovation for Marketers – Day 9 – Future Exploration Network

“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” Stephen Hawking

Ross Dawson is taking on big risk for 2012.  While the stuff I want to point you to is now actually a year old and still relevant, the man has taken to actually and fully publishing his organization’s priorities for 2012 (which is brave and bold and daring, and I imagine a tad bit scary.)

For those of you playing with, near or in media, his extinction of newpapers is certainly worthy of dialogue.  As early as 2007, he completed a list (with friends) of what would be extinct from our lives by 2050. The five points he raises in his post on crowdsourcing to create business value are also worth a read.  In other words, Ross Dawson spends his livelihood committed to helping you understand what comes next, and what, well, doesn’t.   At IBM for a while we talked about the death of things as we knew them (TV, Media, et al).  So much so that a client once remarked when a certain strategy partner was coming to Asia, “what’s dying now?”  Hence, I prefer the future focused than to dwell on what’s dying, but it makes an interesting slide for your next team meeting, that’s for sure.

So, why – with all of Ross’ new content am I saying a year old post is worth your attention?  Please focus your eyeballs on the exatrends on page 2 of 3 of the PDF.  While page one depicts the impact levels of various trends, representing appropriate intersections of individuals, business, society, government and the planet, page 2 provides the descriptions. It’s a fast and worthwhile read, but each of the trends covered is detailed deeply elsewhere on the web – find a thread and follow it through.  I think we’ve already seen Culture Jamming (and why we will fight SOPA tooth and nail).  The Haves and the Have Nots are a gobal phenom from the events in Egypt to Occupy movement), Brands in the Blender is a natural outcome of shared infrastructure, aligned brands and natural connections by the customers who see them as intertwined.  It’s happening everyday, but this is a well framed way to discuss it.  Check it out.  The Zeitgeist – specifically the express of the definitions, is also on slideshare, here.

While we have presented a number of ways to frame trends – whether the approach of Trendwatching.com or this, more concise approach, I think they both provide you a grounding on which you can begin to discuss innovation for your customers, your channels, your places and promotions in a more meaningful manner.  They also help ground you in the reality of what already exists.   The Envisioning Tech approach is a bit more content rich than this one is, but this is more shareable in a discussion format.  Hence, you have a number of options that allow you to have the conversation you need to have for your specific organizational constituents.

Cristene, Kevin and Debbie