From TroyMedia on trend spotting and it’s relevance to career planning:
Not to undermine the science of futurism, but anyone can learn the essentials of forecasting by plugging into the trend-spotting world – if for no other reason than to learn how companies make strategic decisions.
and corporate R&D:
Companies spend billions on research and development and strategic-thinking initiatives, when they’d be a lot smarter to invest their time in asking their customers smart questions.
Carrying out R&D and developing customer relationships are performed by two different groups of people with contrasting mindsets and so marrying these two sources of insights is tricky, especially in large organisations. However it can be done, see here.
I’ve written previously on how my interest in wireless electricity came from exactly this source – an inquisitive customer!
Aside: some interesting insights into forecasting here.