While there are a lot of organizations that aggregate trends (see Trend Hunter and Trend Watching to name a few), people often ask me how believable those trends are and if they should be arriving at the same conclusions while doing their own trend hunting.
The answer is no.
The assumption is that is you give two people the same information and put them in separate rooms to formulate strategy, they should arrive at the same answers. This is flawed thinking. If anything, they should come out with more questions or different answers.
There are times when validation is great (predictable outcomes like in Manufacturing) but when creating the new, we have to look for evidence that doesn’t support our case, because if we don’t we risk falling into the confirmation bias trap.
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to make the same connections everybody else makes, make new connections and feel proud that only you see them. It takes courage to move in a direction nobody else is moving, but it’s also exciting.
If you’re making new connections between unrelated ideas already that are different from everyone else, King’s to you.
Remember: One of the key skills that distinguishes innovators is the ability to ‘associate’, to make connections across seemingly unrelated questions, problems or ideas. Cultivate it and make it your new key creative skill to master.