16 strategies for leaders to identify trends in their industry

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In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, it is essential for any successful leader to stay ahead of the game. One of the most important factors in achieving this is identifying trends in your industry before they become mainstream. However, with so much information available, it can be challenging to separate the signal from the noise.

Below, 16 gotechbusiness.com Business Council members share practical strategies leaders can use to better identify trends in their industry and stay ahead of the competition.

Contents

1. Return to your startup roots

It’s easy for a CEO to fall into the pattern of working in the company instead of working on the company. Schedule time in your calendar and step out of your whirlwind. Use tools like Feedly to stay on top of what’s happening in your industry. Sit somewhere else in your office or leave it altogether and let your mind wander like when you were in boot mode. – Bryan Jakovic, Fusion health

2. Get curious

Set up Google alerts for terms and phrases that are relevant to you. Ask questions of government academics and policy experts. Go to networking events for your industry and ask deeper questions than “What do you do for a living?” If you cultivate curiosity, it will help you cultivate your growth. – Kristen Donnelly, Abbey Research


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3. Create a research and analysis team

Set up a dedicated research and analysis wing to monitor the trends in the respective industries. At one time or another, everyone will get to know the latest trends around them. However, nobody steps in and comes up with a plan to keep abreast of the future trends unless there is a dedicated team in place whose job it is to plan the future procedures. – Raj Madula, Global squirrels

4. Experiment

Leaders need to experiment and not rely on research alone. Take, for example, customers who do not want to meet or speak via video. Most won’t admit that during customer research because it might sound antisocial to admit they prefer emails and WhatsApp texts. Empathy can help here. Pay attention to people’s actions, not their words. – Adam Fayed, adamfayed.com

5. Get out and learn

To stay ahead of industry trends, leaders must regularly follow industry publications and news sources, attend conferences and events, conduct market research, analyze data and statistics, collaborate with other leaders, experiment and innovate. These strategies can help leaders gain valuable insights, track emerging trends, and develop new products and services that meet changing customer needs. – Dustin Lemick, Brite Co

6. Attend industry events regularly

Many industry events have shut down or gone online during the pandemic. That was a huge loss. It is so important not only to attend these events, but also to take advantage of the informal networking that takes place around these events. It’s the best way to identify trends and stay ahead! – Kevin Markarian, Roopler

7. Learn from the people around you

Stay on top of the latest research, attend industry conferences, engage in discussions with industry peers, and actively seek feedback from customers and employees. By leveraging these resources and remaining curious and open-minded, leaders can identify emerging trends and opportunities and adjust their strategies accordingly to stay ahead of the curve. – Justin Arnold, Flexx Mobility & Performance LLC

8. Make use of digital tools

Leaders need to stay informed and open to new ideas, using digital tools such as social media analytics, market research, data analysis and industry reports to monitor trends. In addition, they must proactively seek opportunities to innovate and stay ahead of emerging trends by attending industry events and networking with peers and experts. – John Hadji, Top Key

9. Keep a close eye on your industry and competitors

First, leaders need to be well-versed in their field, actively collaborate with fellow experts at industry events, and stay abreast of research that can improve business efficiency. They must maintain open communication with customers while being alert to their evolving needs and keeping an eye on competitors’ actions. Essentially, leaders need to be constantly immersed in the landscape of their industry. – Vladislav Kraynov, MSOFT

10. Engage a Chief Strategy Officer

Leaders should commit to long-term planning beyond next year. Smart companies assign this range of responsibilities to a chief strategy officer who can attend conferences, read reports from organizations that focus on the future (e.g. Institute for the Future, Future Today Institute, Trend Hunter, etc.), and analyze data and analytics can share regularly with other senior leaders. – Jerry Kan, Brilliant aging

11. Listen to and collaborate with your younger talent

Identifying trends can be done by following industry news, reading relevant topics, connecting with others in the industry and more. Staying ahead is what most leaders seem to struggle with as it is not always easy to embrace change and adapt. Don’t be afraid to get feedback from younger talent, collaborate with your team and, most importantly, keep an open mind! – Sal Pazhor, Naztec International Group LLC

12. Read daily

One thing I do to track and stay ahead of trends is to keep myself aware and informed through constant reading. I do this by reading the morning news and posts from industry leaders and media outlets, browsing Twitter and other social media platforms, reading related articles, and collaborating with larger companies. – Paul Stepanov, Virtudesk

13. Be proactive

Leaders can better spot trends in their industry by staying up to date with the latest news, attending industry events, engaging with experts, analyzing data and market research, and maintaining open communication with their team. By being proactive and continuously learning, leaders can anticipate change and make strategic decisions to stay ahead of emerging trends in their industry. – Zeynep “Z” Ekemen, Silver Defender

14. Stay in touch with others in your industry

There is no substitute for speaking to your competitors or colleagues at related companies in the industry. I’m a member of a few Slack groups with people who own other SEO agencies. It’s a great way to stay on top of industry trends. – Andrew Scotland, Local SEO guide

15. Join professional associations

In addition to capturing data from industry research, news, data, and trends, it’s important for leaders to also be involved in trade associations. Capturing engagement from those they serve is another way to gain insight. – Jeffrey Roche, Core education PBC

16. Get customer feedback

Listen to your customers, because they are the reason the trends exist. If they complain about a feature, change it. If they ask for a feature, add it. Your customers know, so listen to them and respond. – Deyman Doolittle, ShipSigma