While we're reminded to "expect the unexpected," we
continue to focus on trends and forecasts. How often are
companies overtaken by unforeseen events? Anything from
a food scare to a hurricane can cause a profound change
in the business environment. Whether such shifts are
good or bad, they all offer a lesson.
A cable snaps. A scientist makes a breakthrough. A virus
spreads. A regime is toppled. Such unforeseen events,
such breaks in patterns or trends, can instantly spark
game-changing discontinuities. Sometimes these changes
are for the better, sometimes for the worse. We can
either cling to the familiar or prepare for and accept
abrupt change in advance. We study, follow and believe
in trends, but the trend is not always our friend.