Drones, also known as unmanned aircraft, are getting a lot of attention in the media these days for the role they play in fighting terrorism. They're certainly top of mind for those who enjoy learning (and dreaming) about the future.
The emerging trend has expanded far beyond the military. Ambulatory drones are being used to deliver emergency medical supplies for trauma patients in hard to reach locations.
Low flying drones carrying high-powered magnets are now used to detect and eradicate land mines, saving thousands of lives around the world. Amazon is pioneering the idea of drones as a speedy delivery system for e-commerce customers. And Florida Power and Light (FPL) is using drones to service electrical poles and wires in remote locations.
Undoubtedly, hundreds of fresh commercial applications will emerge from the cutting-edge trend of drones; perhaps even in your industry. Hunting for emerging trends like drones can be a wellspring of fresh ideas. A platform for your creative expression. An opportunity to break free from the competitive pack.
Drones aren't the only shifting trend. Today we are living in a rate of change like none other in history. Shifting demographics, mobile technology, and geo-political fluctuations all uncover new opportunities for trend spotting and creative inspiration.
A good friend of mine, Jeremy Gutsche, runs TrendHunter.com - the world's largest source of future trend information. The site boasts input from over 3.5 million trend spotters around the world, sharing emerging trends in everything from teen fashion to carbonated energy drinks. Jeremy has built his entire business to provide a view into the future. That same glimpse into what's next can drive meaningful progress in your business, as well.
The next time you're facing a challenge, look past the obvious solutions. The overused moves in your industry will only go so far. Instead, look wide and explore emerging trends outside your industry. See if you can borrow an idea, pattern, or technology to create a highly differenced - and more impactful - outcome.
I highly recommend a 15-minute "trend workout" each week. Schedule the time to explore the world around you. Discover what's new and what's next, and it will allow you to craft a successful future of your own. Peek into the window of the future, and it will fuel your progress today. These 15 minutes will do a lot more for your company and career than saving you 15% on auto insurance.
If you really want to seize your full potential, make it a priority to be on the lookout for the new trends making waves. The hunt is on.