2 Trend Spotting started here for OCLC OCLC’s scanning path began here…. Environmental Scanning seems to have come into being as a definable, named subject in the late 60s, the same time that World Future Society was created and gave shape to the new practice of futurism although future studies has its roots in war studies from an earlier era.There is a Professional Futurists Association but many people who do “futuring” don’t have “futurist” as a job title.Whatever the title, these people map paths among trends, spotting threads and stories, speculating on the opportunities and risks that may resultTrend Spotting started here for OCLC
3 Why Do This? Western Union Personal computer Amazoogle, YaBay, An “outside-in” analysis of how things will change what we do is important….disruptive innovations make it easier for people to do something that historically required deep expertise or great wealthAlexander Graham Bell apparently offered Western Union the patents to his invention for about $2 million in today’s $$. WU turned him down. In declining to make the purchase the president said: what use could this company make of an electrical toy? 1878 – first telephone company. 1910, AT&T acquired a controlling interest in WU. Why did a market leader fail? Many reasons but one is relevant for us: investments in the core business kept trumping investments in new business.Western UnionPersonal computerAmazoogle, YaBay,Skating where the puck will be
4 Can we predict the future? NO Futuring: 4 QuestionsCan we predict the future?Can we know the future?Can we control the future?Can we influence the future?NOYESNOYES
5 The Four Types of Change A reminder…trends are just one of the drivers of change….and the discontinuous given change is impossible to plan for and so it is important to remember that all futures are scenarios, and not just best-case, worst-case…plausible is goodContinuousDiscontinuousTrendsAgingEconomic growthEventsFall of Berlin WallSeptember 11ImprovementsMarket shareFewer defectsTransformationsNew leadershipNew visionGivenChosenFrom Dr Peter C Bishop, University of Houston
6 Prediction and Forecasting Physical evidenceStrong assumptionsUnitary phenomenonHigher quality inferencesForecastingIntangible evidenceWeak assumptionsMultiple possibilitiesLower quality inferencesFrom Dr Peter C Bishop, University of Houston
7 Forecasts - Two Approaches Traditional Forecasting Futures ForecastingShort-term horizon Long-term horizonSingle domain Many domainsFew factors Many factorsFocus on continuity Focus on discontinuityHide uncertainty Reveal uncertaintySingle forecast Alternative forecastsQuantitative techniques Qualitative techniquesIn summary, then, most forecasters pursue the future according to the characteristics on the left. Futurists deal with the future using the means on the right—quite a difference in approach.From Dr Peter C Bishop, University of Houston
8 Strategic priorities and plan of action Scenarios enhance creativity in visioningScanning for trendsIdentify key forcesScenario matrix narrativesVisionMissionGoalsLikely and alternative futuresPreferred FuturesGeneration of new strategiesEvaluation of new and existing strategiesStrategic priorities and plan of actionDiagram from the Institute for Alternative FuturesAre strategies robust? Do they work in most or all scenarios?Do strategies align with vision, mission and goals?Trends, scenarios, visions and strategies are the parts are decision making—overt or not. Here’s the interconnections between the parts of “futuring”. On the left: scanning for trends generates insights that lead to identification of key forces. These key forces then become the major variables in the different scenarios that are developed about the future. Scenarios aid in the evaluation of strategies by posing several sets of conditions that strategies can be tested against.On the right, vision, mission and goals are linked…the first and most fundamental step is the articulation of a clear, inspiring and ambitious vision. Then the mission clearly sets out the organization’s role in achieving the vision. Concrete goals that can be completed in a specified time frame are needed to make a tangible plan of action
9 What is Environmental Scanning? What is not included in this definition is that information itself will not bring about change. It doesn’t cause people to act differently“Environmental scanning focuses on the identification of emerging issues, situations and potential pitfalls that may affect an organization…in essence, it is a method for identifying, collecting and translating information about external influences into useful plans and decisions.”Kendra S Albright, “Environmental Scanning: Radar for Success.” Information Management Journal, 38(3), May/June 2004.
11 Content of an Environmental Scan STEEPSocial, technological, environmental, economic, political landscapesPEST(LE)Political, economic, social, technology (legislative, environmental)SETRLLSocial, economic, technology, research & learning, librariesWhatever!
12 Trend SpottingA statistically significant change in performance of measured data which is unlikely to be due to a random variation in the process.A manifestation of something that has unlocked or newly serviced an existing consumer need, desire or value.Trends are the momentum of society, we’re heading in that directionIt’s about observing, reading, musing, synthesizing and understanding
13 This Isn’t a TrendIt’s a disaster…Best not to be here
14 The 3 Main Challenges Management and corporate culture Resources They’re just not that into trendsResourcesTime, funds, attentionUnderstanding and applying trendsThinking BIG and…so what?
15 Management and corporate culture Greatest friends or foes?Language can be a barrier. Trends can sound like teenagers in Japan dressed in maids costumes, or fashion designers talking about 6 inch platform shoes.Make sure trends aren’t cooincidentally exactly the same as your own pet obsessions….you’re the reporter. Show examples, show effects. It’s not about you.Don’t present numbers. Make it visual. Demonstrate. It’s important, you must have the support of the suits whether that’s your library director, the provost or the mayor.
16 Resources-papers, websites, blogs, news, newsletters, magazines, books, radio, seminars, trade shows, eaves-dropping, watching, conversations, strategic plans, advertising, gurus and thinkers, customers, trend reports-make a trend team at work even if it’s just people who like to toss ideas around at lunch or over a beerLook cross discipline, cross industry, not in libraryland…usually.Be open minded…nothing is off limitsAsk questions…why is this interesting to people, why do I keep seeing x, hearing y,Too much, not enough, too expensive, no time, who cares I’m retiring…
17 Understanding and Applying Trends This part will appeal to most librarians…categorizingHow do all the trends relate to one another? What’s the context?Ask if the trend has the potential to influence the library’s vision, suggest new services and experiences for patronsPresent trends and ideas to others…clarity will come…make it funBack to STEEP, PEST and SETRLL
18 The Amazoogle* Effect Comprehensive Accessible Immediate gratification Market-of-One(Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC, coined the word “Amazoogle”)There are 80 million "mini-boomers" just in the U.S. between the ages of This is larger than the size of the original baby boomers.This is the first generation that is growing up completely digital.They expect customizationThey want to be able to change their mindsThey try before they buyThey scrutinizeThey collaborate*Coined by Lorcan Dempsey,OCLC VP of Research
19 Convenience Trumps Quality Scientists:GoogleYahooPubMedLibrarians:Science DirectISI Web of ScienceMedLine“In a survey for this lecture, librarians and scientists were asked to name the top scientific and medical search resources that they use or are aware of. The difference is startling.”What this seems to indicate is that the carefully selected sources we make available to our academic communities are being undervalued in favor of freely accessible resources that we know are not of the same quality. Why? Maybe it’s a matter of convenience. Maybe the word “reliable” was interpreted as “most easily accessible”. The 3 resources named by scientists are on the desktop, a few clicks away. The ones named by librarians are usually buried inside the library web site just like valuable but dusty material languishes in the stacks of the physical library. So let’s not think of this as an educational opportunity for our user community. Let’s think of it as an educational opportunity for us, the library community.Source: John Regazzi, “The Battle for Mindshare: A battle beyond access and retrieval”
20 Libraries in the “infosphere” 2004 InstitutionalContentWeb ContextSpecialCollectionsPublishedContentThe challenges for libraries given this new framework are significant.The opportunities for libraries given this new framework are equally exciting.
21 College Students - Use of electronic resources From Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A report to the OCLC membership, 2006Q855
22 Why haven’t you ever used the online library Web site? From Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A report to the OCLC membership, 2006
23 How do you select which electronic information source to use? From Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A report to the OCLC membership, 2006Q715
24 …is the information you get from library sources more or less trustworthy than information you get from search engines?From Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A report to the OCLC membership, 2006Q1205
25 …is the information you get from library sources more or less trustworthy than information you get from search engines?From Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A report to the OCLC membership, 2006Q1205
26 Decreased activities due to Internet use From Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A report to the OCLC membership, 2006Read books21%26%Listen to the radio26%14%39%Visit with friends/family in personRead the newspaperWatch television
27 “Lifestyle fit” of information sources From Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A report to the OCLC membership, 2006Total RespondentsQ1345
28 The Library – An Idea Amplifier? “If a CEO can see his company as primarily an idea amplifier, then he can understand his "brand" properly. Vision doesn't require molecules, it never did. What it requires is something worth believing in.”Hugh Macleod – gapingvoid.com
29 Last Thoughts…Finding a Vision “We are here to find meaning. We are here to help other people do the same. Everything else is secondary.”Hugh Macleod – gapingvoid.com
41 I’d like to acknowledge the ideas and content I’ve used here from Dr I’d like to acknowledge the ideas and content I’ve used here from Dr. Peter C. Bishop, futurist and faculty member at the University of Houston, and from Trendwatching.com, a trendspotting company.