Smart Innovation


Moving with Speed:

Fast Thinking

Spotting Trends

Taking Advantage of Change and Converting Risks into Opportunities

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!

"The future belong to those who see it first, or most clearly." ~ John Kay 

Trend versus Fad

  1. Fad is very visible, but is goes up and down in a big hurry.

  2. A trend is almost invisible, but it's very powerful over the long term.

Becoming a Master Trend-Spotter Include1

  1. Understanding the drivers of change

  2. Getting a clue

  3. Looking for new combinations

  4. Developing a sense of taste



Dangers of Working with Trends3

  1. Extrapolation: Many companies jump to conclusions about how far a trend will go

  2. Measuring Future by the Present: The common practice is to assume that the future will be a replay of the present.

Trend Spotting Tips

By IDEO a World Leading Product Design Company

  1. Browse, constantly search for new ideas and inspiration: make constant browsing of journals, books, newspapers and Internet your habit and an integral part of your corporate culture. "Browse the aisles at your favorite bookstore and make a practice of looking at sections you've never checked out before. You'd be surprised at how much you can learn about the latest trends by scanning titles and book jackets."4

  2. Look wider: don't focus too much on your competition spend as much time learn from noncompetitive industries as well. Knowing the state of the art or the soon-to-be state of the art in one industry can give you a jump in your chosen field.

  3. Observe people, customers and noncustomers, especially enthusiasts.

  4. Build bridges from one department to another, from your company to your prospective customers, and ultimately from the present to the future.

  5. Live innovation: get involved in many innovative projects to acquire a unique perspective on the future, get a sense of the holistic nature of change, and learn how things evolve.

  6. Brainstorm like crazy.

7 Dimensions of Strategic Innovation

  • Industry Foresight understanding emerging trends... More

Be the First


While you cannot predict the future, you can get a handle on trends, which is a way to take advantage of change and convert risks into opportunities. The ability to spot trends before others is vital if you want to think faster and thus be ahead of your competition.

3Ss of Winning in Business

Surprise To Win: 3 Strategies

"Predicting the Future"

There is a big difference between "predicting the future" and "taking a chance" on the future. "No one can predict the future with any degree of certainty; nor should marketing plans try. But the closer you can get to the consumer, the more likely you are to succeed," says Al Ries.3

Yin-Yang of Customer Value Creation

Customer Value: 10 Matsushita Lessons

Outside-In Company

Taping your resources of analytical, systemic and outside-the-box thinking, understand what's going in the real world look at your business from outside in and ask these searching questions relentlessly6:

  1. What's happening in your marketplace?

  2. How the needs are changing?

  3. What's causing the changes?

  4. Where are the resulting opportunities?... More

Creating Customer Value: 9 Questions

Jack Welch's 5 Strategic Questions

Entrepreneurial Leader: 4 Specific Attributes

 Case in Point  Bratz Dolls

The developers of the Bratz dolls identified a trend among youngsters - admiring cool looking people. They created dolls that look very different from the classic Barbie dolls. The result was a great success.





  1. It's not the BIG and eats the SMALL... it's the FAST that eats the SLOW, J. Jennings & L. Haughton

  2. "Strategy and the Delusion of Grand Designs", John Kay

  3. "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing in Asia", Al Ries, Jack Trout and Paul Temporal

  4. The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelley

  5. "Every Business is a Growth Business", Ram Charan and Noel. M. Tichy

  6. Kaizen: The Key To Japan's Competitive Success, Masaaki Imai

  7. Entrepreneurial Leadership, Vadim Kotelnikov

  8. SMART Innovation, Vadim Kotelnikov