By Deborah Flomberg
They say the only constant is change, and that is just as true in the business world as it is in any other industry. If your business is working to keep up with trends, launching new products or even just trying to adapt to the changing economy and technological era, then you already know how hard it is to keep up.
Now, more and more businesses are opting to hire futurists, whose job it is to research and predict trends. Think of a futurist as an anthropologist for the business world. It’s his or her job to research trends, talk to people of varying backgrounds, learn how things are changing and to predict what products or services will be most desirable in the coming years. As the world changes, it’s a futurist who helps you change with it.
Do You Really Need A Futurist?
The short answer is yes. True, you’ve made it this far without one, but if you want to compete on a large scale moving forward, it will do you a lot of good to consult with someone whose job it is to “know the future,” so to speak. It’s getting more difficult to launch new products and increasingly important to be faster, bigger and better than everyone else. And it’s even more difficult if you’re dealing with a long-established brand or an organization that adopts change slowly. This is where a strong futurist can help point you in the right direction.
Yes, your futurist can also help you save money. Think about the cost involved with launching a new product successfully. From research to production to marketing to delivery, the cost of any new product is already astronomical. But what would happen if you spent all that money on something just to find out that the product is obsolete as soon as it hits the store shelves? Your futurist can help ensure you aren’t spinning your wheels, and he or she can help identify coming trends so that you can be sure to be ahead of the curve, instead of behind it.
More Than Just Products
A good futurist can also help in areas outside of research and development for new products or services. For example, lets say you’re in the business of making paper. A futurist can help identify trends in production, opportunities for growth and other ways to make your product more effectively – and for less money. There may be other items on the market today that can help with your production, or new ways of doing business that you’ve never thought of. The futurist on your staff is solely dedicated to helping you do things better, and what organization wouldn’t want that?