Cincinnati, OH — Toronto-based innovation shop Trend Hunter has cranked out over 10,000 custom trends profiles in the past decade, and today they’ve compressed their annual 3-day innovation experience and taken their show on the road with an 8-hour intensive course.

Bestselling author and Trend Hunter CEO Jeremy Gutsche kicked off the day with a keynote on How to Win the Future. He opened with a simple claim: “New ideas are subtle, and successful people are the ones who miss out… [that’s why] big brands overestimate their level of control. For example, 97% of CEOs list innovation as one of their pillars to success, but half don’t believe their company has a strong innovation plan.”

Why This Matters

Innovation has been a key buzzword in our industry for more than a decade, but our leaders and colleagues still struggle to transform the hunger for it into the action required to drive change and ROI. 

Jeremy purports that he’s identified 5 key factors that can hinder innovation, but—when addressed—unlock opportunity for your company or brand. They include:

  • The Subtlety of Disruption:
    To identify and activate disruption for our advantage, we must change our vantage point for an outside-in look to find opportunity.
  • Neurological Shortcuts:
    Our brains are wired for efficiency, processing repetitive pathways hundreds of times faster than new thoughts, but this adaptation tends to push us to fall into repetitive or redundant mindsets. Proactively opening your aperture wider to find fresh connections between familiar topics through trends gives us a shortcut to new thinking.
  • Traps of Success:
    Once a brand achieves success, there’s far more to lose—so it’s tempting to approach challenges from the perspective of being protective, complacent, or repetitive. There’s a chance in learning from upstarts and challengers who find it easier to be curious, insatiable, and willing to destroy and build better.
  • Optionality:
    Rather than thinking of decisions in near-term binary definitions, optionality points to looking at the broader and longer-term opportunities that may open up doors beyond your current space
  • Discomfort:
    Ultimately, many breakthroughs come from stepping out of your comfort zone. Trying non-traditional tactics, exploring new markets and taking calculated risks is critical to growth in this age of acceleration.


Stay tuned here for more updates from the conference in the coming days.

About the Author:

Drew Beck brings more than a decade of broad healthcare experience to GSW in his role as the Director of Innovation. He has enjoyed working for big healthcare names including Eli Lilly & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline in Global Marketing and Pharmaceutical Sales roles, but his start came from hands-on work in patient care in Emergency Medicine. This foundation has given him a deep understanding of both patients and healthcare professionals. In his current role, he combines all he has learned from this background with insights into current market trends to help clients drive the future of their brands.