There is an on-going challenge to combine elements to create something new. The ability to mold an idea and bring it to life requires an inquisitive curiosity, the willingness to take a risk and make mistakes, plus quite a bit of passion and determination. You’ve got to start by discovering, examining, solidifying, and nourishing elements of global signals that are related, but not necessarily linear, and certainly don’t always start at the same time. In this ‘creative class’ world in which we live, trends no longer drive innovation. Innovation is driving the trends. And, in turn, are driving and affecting the multi-sensorial consumer of tomorrow. Like a journalist reporting on societal changes and shifts in consumer behavior, plus my enhanced sense of awareness of the signals causing the biggest impact on the food and beverage industry, I translate these into thought-provoking conclusions to inspire new product development in any segment, for any customer or brand. Those of us who understand the origin of trends have the unique ability to influence what actually happens – seeing relationships that lead to new ideas, making connections of things seemingly unrelated, perceiving smart re-combinations. As a so-called futurist, and an expert at connecting the dots, I’m able to translate these early signals, from the streets or otherwise, into valuable content for game-changing propositions that consistently deliver inspiration, while also enabling me to recommend what to do, given these emerging trends.
To be a true business partner, you’ve got to be able to successfully contribute to the customer’s innovation pipeline. To have the innate ability to hear answers when others hear only questions, and to speak about the future with conviction and passion, while making connections that lead to new ideas, this is strategic foresight. Forced connections of things seemingly unrelated, smart re-combinations, they’re everywhere we look in this mash-up culture we live in today. We need to continue to both believe, and bring, the idea that questioning existing reality and using lateral thinking to connect the dots will lead to greater innovation in the long run. This is about getting in touch with an entirely new level of awareness, and using the experience of discovery to learn and improve new techniques for problem solving and innovation. Prospection is the act of looking forward in time, and considering the future is a full-time, part art, part science, and part magic kind of job.