Connect with us


Herman Trend Alert: Looking Backward, Looking Ahead

At the suggestion of one of its readers, in this edition, Herman Trend Alert will review some of our forecasts from 2009, looking at their accuracy and perhaps extending the forecast into 2010.


Herman Trend Alerts are written by Joyce Gioia, a strategic business futurist, Certified Management Consultant, author, and professional speaker. Archived editions are posted at

2009 brought some very interesting developments in the human resources area: most of our forecasts were right-on target, including the intensifying competition for certain skill sets, the increased attention to wellness and amplified focus on succession planning. For the most part, employers missed their opportunities with their older workers, perhaps because they did not feel the sting of being short staffed. We believe that element of the forecast is still coming, but it will take a little longer than we previously thought. If you have not yet read the 2010 Workforce/Workplace Forecast, visit

Click Here to Read More

In January 2009 we wrote, "We expect this reading trend (Reading on the Rise) to continue to increase, in a small way supporting the United States in its drive for competitiveness." When we look at the fact that Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon are all still in business and Kindle (the machine that provides books electronically) sales are thriving, it is easy to confirm this forecast.

In May 2009, we covered the H1N1 (Swine Flu) Pandemic, forecasting that the growing threat would have an impact on businesses, even affecting air travel. We were right about the impact on businesses, but wrong about the travel component. The reason was that the most affected populations were children and young adults. This flu had a very disruptive effect on U.S. schools (including colleges and universities), and therefore affected worker productivity, when parents had to miss work to take care of their children. We expect other strains of influenza and other food-borne bacteria to continue to be a problem for many years to come.


Even the U.S. store chain Best Buy is using the WePower’s vertical axis wind turbine to provide power to its store in Eden Prairie, Minn., so we were correct in saying WePower has made wind turbines more accessible. In the next five years, we expect the acceptance of green technologies to grow exponentially and the green jobs to support that growth will help the economies of the world to recover — especially in the U.S., Brazil, China, Japan and Korea.

This year promises to be a most interesting year — and a better one, for many us, than 2009.