Megatrends: Tailwinds for Growth in a Low-Growth Environment

Megatrends: Tailwinds for Growth in a Low-Growth Environment

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Megatrends: Tailwinds for Growth in a Low-Growth Environment

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    Skating to Where the Puck Will Be

    The best companies develop a clear vision of the sources of future growth and competitive advantage and then decisively deploy their resources to seize the best opportunities. Or in the words of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, they get their team to “skate to where the puck will be.”

    The winners in the twenty-first century will be those companies that can align around a powerful and accurate vision of the future and that have the agility to act on it. We’ve helped scores of companies in a variety of industries to design and manage a process for identifying, tracking, and understanding the megatrends with the most important implications for their customers, products, and markets. Looking at their markets through the megatrend lens has helped them see multibillion-dollar opportunities that more traditional approaches had failed to reveal. From those experiences, we’ve distilled some best practices for riding a megatrend tailwind to create your company’s future. (Click "Best Practices for Leveraging Megatrends," below.)

    Best Practices for Leveraging Megatrends

    Treat every megatrend as a new phenomenon, even if it has been around for a while. The question isn’t whether it is new but whether your plans have kept up with its growth and development.

    Develop a network of experts on critical trends who can challenge your thinking and keep you up-to-date on the latest developments—and give you an information advantage over your rivals.

    Explore emerging megatrends, even if they seem too small to move the dial. They will get bigger.

    Explore the business model implications of key megatrends. Which companies and products are well positioned? Can your current business model capture the opportunity either as is or with no more than modest changes? Or is an entirely new model required?

    Go see for yourself. “Learning journeys” that bring your key managers face-to-face with customers, markets, and trend experts foster a visceral understanding of and alignment around the strategic implications of megatrends.

    Look across categories and industries to get a holistic view of a megatrend’s influence. Know your organization’s blind spots.

    Act quickly once you’ve spotted a megatrend that promises opportunity. The exponential growth of these trends shortens the window for response time.

    Spotting the megatrends that will sweep through your markets over the next decade is the first step in reigniting growth. But the effort isn’t worth much unless you take the next steps and mobilize your organization around a strategic vision of the future. Achieving breakthrough growth is still hard work that demands real strategic creativity and flawless execution, but megatrends offer the assurance that when you go for growth, you’ll have the wind at your back.