Hard Trends Are Easy to Find If You Know
Where to Look

A well-worn cliché says there are only two things you can be certain about: death and taxes. With apologies to those who agree with that statement, there are many, many more examples of out-and-out certainties.

Was Sunday followed by Monday last week? Absolutely. Will that be the case next week? You can count on it. As I write this, researchers, the medical community and countless others are trying to determine the best course of action to combat many different types of cancer. Diseases have appeared in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

On a lighter note, will the technology in the automotive industry—such as semiautonomous vehicles—continue to develop and mature, or are we going back to crank starts and cars equipped with just an AM radio? Of course cars are only going to become more sophisticated. We certainly aren’t going to drive innovation backward.           

Those are just a handful of examples of Hard Trend certainties. And understanding what a Hard Trend certainty is, as well as strategies to identify them, can lead to significant game-changing opportunities for you and your organization.

What’s a Hard Trend?

Simply put, a Hard Trend is a future certainty, something that we know is going to occur. A related but different sort of trend is known as a Soft Trend. These are future maybes that may or may not take place.

I have grouped Hard Trends into three primary categories to help you understand and identify them.

The first is demographics. For instance, there are nearly 80 billion baby boomers in the United States. Not a single one is getting any younger—a definite Hard Trend.

The second is government regulations and oversight. Here, a broad question immediately comes to mind—as a general rule, will there be more or less government regulation in the future? Of course there will be more, and that’s true regardless of the industry or organization. That’s also a Hard Trend.

The third is technology. From the ever-increasing functional capabilities of our smartphones to the growing use of 3-D printing—for instance, farmers in Myanmar are using 3-D technology to produce necessary tools at a rate far faster than conventional manufacturing—technology is inevitably going to become more functional, more sophisticated and more widespread. That’s another definite Hard Trend.

Why Hard Trends Matter

Knowing that something is a future certainty means much more than merely impressing your friends and colleagues with your vision. It’s central to your organization’s planning and subsequent execution.

For instance, if yours is an industry subject to comprehensive government regulation, banking your future on the hope that future levels of oversight will be lower than they are now is little more than a fool’s errand. On the other hand, being aware of the Hard Trend of growing government regulation, you can plan with those additional guidelines foremost in your mind.

In fact, you can even leverage them to your advantage. For instance, when the United States government mandated additional electronic patient record keeping, some organizations merely threw up their hands in frustration. Others decided to pursue opportunities to help health care organizations put those new procedures into place—and profited accordingly.

That’s another characteristic of Hard Trends. Some are welcome, some are not. Some, in fact, can be hybrids—yes, we’re all living longer, but that raises the question of affordable health care to make those additional years worthwhile.

Put another way, don’t expect a Hard Trend to always tickle. But what you can expect is that Hard Trends—identified and acted upon—can offer enormous opportunities for those organizations with the mind-set of always keeping their eyes open to the future.

Is your organization identifying and acting on the visible Hard Trend certainties in your industry?

Watch the Reaction

Watch the reaction to Daniel Burrus’ Recent Keynote presentation.

Daniel Burrus has over three decades of being right about where things are going, which is evidenced by his long and diverse list of repeat clients. Daniel has worked with leaders from Fortune 500 companies, the Pentagon, and heads of State-delivering powerful insights and actionable strategies.

A ‘must-hear’ presentation.

Steven A. Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft

Your thoughts on how to create an opportunity for change through a customer focus is the excellence our team is striving for. The framework you provided on innovation, creativity and customer value will be instituted as a management practiceto enable the technology infrastructure group to take Wells Fargo to the next stage.

Victor Nichols, Wells Fargo

By applying Daniel Burrus’ principles to our business, in less than a year we have been able to double our revenues and increase the value of our company by a factor of four, and we feel the biggest impact is yet to come.

Arni Bellini, CEO, ConnectWise

Recent Work

Recent Work

When IBM launched IBM Global Business Services with their top 40 industry experts to plan a game‑changing future for IBM, the only outside resource they used was Daniel Burrus. (The meeting was a great success, and he has continued to work with IBM).

When Vodafone launched its Global Mobile Enterprise service to Fortune 200 companies, they chose Daniel Burrus to deliver the message to C-level Executives in multiple national events.

When Deloitte gathered leaders from China and SE Asia for a major forecasting event, they chose Daniel Burrus. (Based on the success of that event, Deloitte has changed their industry-forecasting model to incorporate Burrus’ Hard-Trend methodology.

A Master at Tailoring Presentations

A master at tailoring his presentations to the specific needs of your audience, Daniel is a futurist keynote speaker who identifies game-changing trends and strategies to help you:

  • Empower audiences to take positive action.
  • Separate the Hard Trends that will happen from the Soft Trends than might happen
  • Learn which current and emerging technologies will have the biggest impact on your industry.
  • Learn how to creatively apply these technologies to create strategic value and competitive advantage.
  • Anticipate Disruptions, Problems, Customer Needs and New Opportunities
  • Learn how to leverage the skills and talents within your organization in new ways.
  • Learn how to use new tools to change the rules of your industry with honesty and integrity.
  • Learn powerful personal strategies for shaping your future.
Daniel Burrus’ Speaking Accolades

Daniel Burrus’ Accolades

  • The New York Times named Daniel as one of the top three gurus in the highest demand as a speaker.
  • One of the Top 21 Speakers For the 21st Century by Successful Meetings Magazine.
  • He has been voted by his peers and clients as one of the Top Five Futurists and Technology Speakers every year since the award program started.
  • A member of the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame.
  • He has delivered over 2,700 keynote speeches on six continents to audiences from 25 to 12,000.