Once we come out of this recession, we want to move our consulting practice into strong markets. It's hard to see from here what those markets are going to be. What advice do you have to help us predict the future?
Rather than trying to predict the future, first figure out what is driving change now. Your objective is to develop skills that can help managers get to the future, a year at a time. This is mostly seeing trends in technology, demographics, markets, social and business attitudes, and regulation. There is a skill to separating genuine trends from fads. The emergence of a hot new business or technology does not prove a sustainable trend.
There are also companies and services that can help you separate a fad from a trend. For example, check out Trendwatching.com
. This provides a nice set of tips on how to know the difference and how to develop a good strategy to build your own skills in tracking and finding trends relevant to your practice.Tip:
This is also exactly why your network is so important. People with different perspectives, consulting specialties, age, culture, etc., are some of your best sources of possible trends. Ask people in your network about what they see changing in their areas and see how you might work together to provide consulting services. © 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA