For many the collapse into bankruptcy of bookselling chain Borders was hard to believe.
Here was a company that for so long had been a giant in its category – a company which steamrolled through country after country, taking out mum-and-dad booksellers in each suburb where it set up shop.
But Borders made a big mistake, it failed to read the signs that its market was about to change forever.
Online retail, eBooks and a move towards specialist retailers are all trends Borders failed to spot quickly enough and failed to react to.
So here is your challenge. Sit down for an afternoon, perhaps with a few members of staff or a mentor or board member, and try to look 10 years ahead at the changes that could impact on your industry.
Think about technology changes that might be just emerging. Will they last or fade?
Think about consumer tastes. How could they shift?
Think about the competitive landscape. Who will stick around and who will depart?
It’s not easy and you won’t be right about everything.
But doing this sort of exercise regularly will at least keep trend-spotting at the front of your mind.
Get it done – today!