Trendspotting

How good are we at spotting trends?  There are so many new things being developed that it’s easy to get caught up in the really neat and miss the things that will actually affect us.  

I saw this post at TTW and it got me thinking about how we look to the future.  Do we react?  Do we have people who can spot the trends?  Are we slow to acknowledge, accept and encorporate positive trends into how we run our libraries?  I have no answers but loads of questions.  

Is trendspotting a skill that can be developed?  According to this site it is.  It’s something worth developing.  Here are some quick guidelines for developing this skill.

  • First of all, make sure you acquire a point of view about the world around you. 
  • Crucial to broadening your point of view: be curious and be open minded.
  • Also realize that you are not necessarily your customer: your professional interests should be broader than your personal interests.
  • Stop being ‘just’ a specialist and aim to become a generalist

 A much more detailed description of how to cultivate the skill of trendspotting can be found here.  Something worth looking into.

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3 comments

  1. Deb

    Your blog rocks! PLCMC actually has a position that does the following: “Director of Research, Innovation and Strategy — Oversees the direction of annual long-term strategic planning for the library, marketing/communications, information technology, research and innovation.” Seems like a job designed to spot trends.

  2. Lisa K

    From the first time I read Malcolm Gladwell’s 1997 article in The New Yorker on coolhunting, I have daydreamed that I could be the one who could see that Hush Puppies were no longer grandpa’s ugly shoes, but an urban-hipster fashion icon. Alas, I am, at best, an early-middle adapter.

    Scott Westerfeld’s So Yesterday is a YA novel involving a teen who’s a reluctant cool hunter, and a mysterious disappearance Check it out!

  3. mwphillips75

    I believe we are on the same adaptation boat. Where we are sailing…I’ve only a vague notion.

    I’ll try to check out the book. Thanks!

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