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From Trend Watching to Idea Wrangling: How To Turn Cycles Into Action Plans

We’ve seen cycles come and go—everything from music trends that emulate days gone by to past decades of fashion making a comeback. It is evident that cycles are all around us. As a business leader, how do you turn cycles into your advantage, and better yet, what industries will benefit from cycles in the coming years? Trends Are Cycles Within my Anticipatory Organization Model , I emphasize the importance of identifying both Hard Trends, future certainties that will happen, and Soft Trends, future maybes open to influence. Hard Trends and Soft Trends sound similar to the concept of cycles, don’t they? That’s because they are! If we begin with Hard Trends, a future certainty means we know it will happen. For example, we know the sun will rise tomorrow morning, we know spring follows a bitter cold winter, and we know a brisk fall follows a blisteringly hot summer. On the other hand, Soft Trends are merely details that we can influence. The Hard Trend that the sun will rise tomorrow comes with the Soft Trend that we can choose to do something specific with the day that comes with said sunrise or choose where we travel to when that warm summer follows a mild spring. Understanding how Hard Trends and Soft Trends can be leveraged in an anticipatory way is integral in leveraging cycles to our advantage, and this skill set is even more important now that we have begun a new normal, in our current world. Positive COVID-19 Cycles Now that we have been through a global disruption like the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses and business leaders have been distracted. Absolutely not!