Our job is tracking and forecasting small business trends. As part of this task, we keep up with a lot of trends which at first glance don't seem directly related to small business.
We do this for two reasons. First, a lot of trends that don't look important to small businesses right now end up being very important in the future. We've also found cross discipline trend analysis is much more powerful and accurate than focusing on a single or small set of trend areas.
Keeping up with all these trends is hard. But fortunately there are good sources covering different trend areas we can turn to for help.
Three of our favorites are:
1. The Center for the Future of Museums: Their Dispatches from the Future of Museums is a weekly, curated mix of article summaries and links highlighting trends likely to impact society and business in the future. It's my favorite newsletter on the future and a must read for anyone interested in trends.
2. The Sloan Work and Family Research Network blog: I like the blog, but I love their weekly What's New in Work and Family blog post. It's a curated list of article summaries and links. If you're interested in work/life balance, flexible work or other issues related work and its impact on families, this is the place to go.
3. JWT Intelligence: JWT is a large marketing communications agency (what used to be called an ad agency) serving many of the world's biggest consumer brands. Not surprisingly, their focus is consumer trends. They produce an excellent weekly roundup of curated article summaries and links on consumer trends. They also produce interesting reports, some of which are free.
Strong curation skills is what these three sites have in common. Their weekly summaries allow us to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.