Monday, July 11, 2011

Exploring The Emerging Trends

“What is now proved was once only imagined.” - William Blake

At times, we get so busy that we forget everything was created twice, first in the mind and second with the help of others. Those who imagine and then created something that is new or different first started by looking at the proverbial “big picture.” They explored the emerging trends and blended it with their own ideas, creativity and perspective.

When I look at the big picture this morning, I find some interesting bits of information to ponder. For example in the 5/9/11 issue of Time magazine, they reported that 6.6 million was the approximate number of Latinos who voted in the 2010 U.S. midterm elections. This was a record, and up from 5.6 million in the 2006 midterms.

Furthermore, in the 5/16/11 issue of Time magazine, they reported that 1 in 4 was the proportion of kids in single-parent households in the U.S., the highest of 27 industrialized nations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s new report.

Here is an interesting piece of information from the July 4, 2011 issue of the Christian Science Monitor: “Although the recession may be causing a temporary dip in telecommuting, according to a recent WorldatWork survey, the number of firms offering the option has jumped. Some 63 percent of organizations now offer some kind of telecommuting, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). That’s up eight percentage points in a year. Moreover, 20 percent of organizations now allow full-time telecommunting, up from 17 percent last year.”

From the same issue, there is an article on how libraries are restocking for a digital age. Of note is the following: “A majority of states have reported library closures in the past 12 months according to the American Library Association. While most of those states estimated that one or two branches shut down, some reported five to 10 closing their doors, which ALA says is part of a trend.”

Next, The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has reported that more than one-quarter of all adults in the U.S. suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year.

In the post PC market, I find it interesting to note that 15 million iPads were sold in the first 9 months and they generated 9.5 billion in rev. in that same time period. This slate based computer now captures 90% of the market share. I also found it interesting that Apple has 200+ million accounts with credit cards and one click purchasing. At the same time, 100 million iBooks were downloaded in less than a year with the first iPad, and they have already shipped their 100 millionth iPhone. Clearly, fewer lap tops are being sold and the cell phone is fast becoming the new PC and the new wallet.

In the world of medicine, the classic Doctor/Patient relationship is changing. The historical meeting of the people who know, i.e. the MD, with those who do not know, i.e. the patient, for diagnosis and treatment is fast evolving into a Doctor/Patient relationship with both as co-learners. Given patients can access everything the Doctor can access via technology plus tap into a vast social network of different support groups, many patients are approaching the medical world as partners and less as customers or consumers.

Finally, in this post Japanese earthquake time period, more and more countries and people are asking questions about the price and source of our vastly increasing diet for energy consumption. The question is no longer which fuel is best to use but which combination of fuels are the best to use. Gas, coal and “green” technologies in combination with proactive energy conservation are all being explored.

When I look at the big picture and see some of the above trends, I am reminded of a quote that I read in Fast Company Magazine back in April 2000. “If you want to build an outstanding company, then you have to be ready to handle the consequences of standing out. Too many companies want the benefits of seeming different - without the risks that come with being different.” The risk for us as leaders this summer is to not only stand out but to explore more deeply the bigger picture with the hopes of being able to effectively imagine new possibilities.

Geery Howe, M.A.Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer inLeadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational ChangeMorning Star Associates319 - 643 - 2257

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