Anthony Davidson

Trends to watch

Trends to watch

If you understand which trends to watch, you gain important insights into how to adapt and innovate your business model.

Important trends to watch

As a business owner, you have to make sense of what is happening nationally and globally, especially the potential impact on business.

Mega trends persist over a longer period of time. Australia’s CSIRO has identified seven global mega trends. They include adapting to climate change, the push to net zero, the growing health imperative, digitisation, advanced autonomous systems, and the importance of diversity, equity, and transparency in business.

Macro trends have a significant impact in the short to medium term. The Reserve Bank of Australia is focused on four trends in its economic outlook for Australia. Reduced global economic growth will impact the economy particularly in terms of demand for exports. The current high inflation and cost-of-living pressures are affecting price and wage expectations, which may create an inflation mindset. Household consumption will be impacted by rising interest rates and inflation. Energy and supply shocks could boost inflation and lower growth.

Another social macro trend that is a hot topic for business owners is remote working. Currently 40% of employees working remotely in some form. This is expected to rise to 79% by 2025. But it will be heavily influenced by the state of the economy and the extent to which flexible working arrangement become the norm.

Micro trends are also important to understand. These are trends that have been around for some time but are still at an early stage. For example, transition from glass bottles to cans in the wine industry in response to rising material costs and resource constraints.

Trends and lessons from the pandemic

The pandemic has also taught us how to adapt and be more resilient. One important lesson is the reminder that necessity is the mother of invention (originally attributed to Plato).

The pandemic has shown us that online shopping and service is here to stay, that supply chain reinvention is critical for managing risk, and that technology can be easily adopted to be more competitive.

Taking advantage of trends

By understanding mega, macro and micro trends, you can identify opportunities to increase the value of your business. Business value is driven by financial health, growth potential, management and governance, process and systems, and sustainable competitive advantage. Identifying factors that will impact each value driver make opportunities, challenges and roadblocks more apparent. Then develop strategies to take advantage or overcome them, and update business goals and priorities for the year ahead.

Updated goals and priorities can be translated into KPIs or OKRs that are monitored on a monthly or quarterly basis. This enables your people to better align their activities to what is required for success.   

Finally, see uncertainty as an opportunity to increase business value.