When I was a Regent University doctorate student, I often wrote my assignments toward publication. As I took my courses, I always tried to write on similar themes to reduce my research time and make me more efficient. I would look at the environment thinking what topics would be growing issues. Yet, many of my peers were only looking at the near term (getting a passing grade to move on).
One article, “The Evolution of Leadership,” produced unintended consequences. While in graduate school, I had this article published and forgot about it. One day a tutor in the university’s writing center mentioned she recognized my name. The tutor stated that students were quoting me in their academic papers. Once we graduated, many of my classmates did not want to revisit past assignments for publication.
I soon learned the consequences of looking ahead. With over 6,000 views and picked up by more than 30 websites and publishers, my article, ‘The Evolution of Leadership, is now being used as a reference globally. That is the power of looking beyond the current situation.
With the economic crisis, many people have lost their courage and do not want to seek opportunities in emerging markets or new ventures. Countries near and abroad are having financial problems. Europe needs to double the size of its bailout to $1.3 trillion to shore up its banking system and stop the spread of its debt. Americans watch their earnings decline as the cost of food and gas spirals upward.
Some people look to the government for help while other individuals leverage the goodwill of businesses to provide trickle down offerings from capitalism. According to the Economic Policy Institute, 1.8 million of the United States 73 million hourly workers earned the financial wage in 2010; many workers are in the retail, restaurant, and hospital sectors.
Taking with a visionary stance to look beyond today’s pressing issues is a utilized by highly successful people. Noted trend watcher Henrik Vejlgaard argues that it is possible for individuals to spot emerging trends and take advantage of them.
Vejlgaard explains, “Although the world is changing all the time and this flux may eventually affect the patterns behind the trend process, these patterns are deeply rooted in human behavior….By investigating the people who have started trends in the past, where trends frequently start, how trends emerge and grown, and why trends happen, we can define some rules for spotting trends.
Failure is always a possibility of leaping while others stay on the shore. However, the biggest risk is doing nothing. Charles Schwab, author of New Guide to Financial Independence, understands how to take risk in unchartered waters. He started investing in 1957, and he became a pioneer in the discount brokerage business in 1974.
He notes, “I’ve heard it said that people are motivated by hope of reward or fear of punishment….Truth be told, we’re all investors. Each day we invest time and energy and intelligence in our children and our work. Investing for our future is just another aspect of it, but a critical one.” Therefore, any success should be couched with some common sense and calculated risks.
Discuss an emerging trend and how you or your organization can capitalize on this trend.
© 2012 by Daryl D. Green