5 Keys to an Engaged and Innovative Culture by Carrie Vanston, Texas CEO Magazine – January Issue

January 30, 2015

MiniTrends: Five Keys to an Engaged and Innovative CultureMy Texas CEO Magazine article “MiniTrends: Five Keys to an Engaged and Innovative Culture” is up! The  article discusses 5 ways to combine the process of finding emerging trends with engaging employees in order to improve your culture and bottom line.To stay successful, organizations must constantly look for the latest emerging trends and incorporate the most relevant ones into their business strategy. Not surprisingly, the organizations most likely to thrive are the ones that have the highest engagement of their most important creative resource — their employees.
The Five Keys to combine FORESIGHT and ENGAGEMENT are:
  • Find and Engage
  • Inspire and Advocate
  • Connect and Interact
  • Analyze and Collaborate
  • Incorporate and Repeat

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the article and would appreciate your sharing the link with your contacts! :)

Warm regards,

Carrie Vanston, VP Communications
Technology Futures, Inc. – MiniTrends

P.S. Thank you to the wonderful Publisher of Texas CEO MagazinePat Neikamp,  for including me in this excellent magazine. She is an absolute pleasure to work with.

Carrie Vanston is Vice President of Communications at Technology Futures, Inc. and Co-Author of MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends. She excels at helping clients create and grow innovative cultures by finding and profiting from emerging trends with maximum engagement by all stakeholders.


2 Weeks Until MiniTrends 2014: Insight, Innovation & Strategy – Sign Up Now at Special Rate

September 12, 2014

MiniTrends Conference Promo Video

See what all the excitement is about! MiniTrends 2014, September 26, Austin, TX

Why attend MiniTrends 2014: Insight, Innovation & Strategy on Friday, September 26, in Austin, Texas? Because it’s all about how YOU can…

1) Do More with Less.

2) Work Smarter, Not Harder.

3) Game the System.

4) Become that Rock Star!

How, you ask? Becoming adept at discerning MiniTrends will first give you insights into innovation. This ability to understand people’s wants and needs, and the underlying causes of change will allow you to see how to achieve a high return on effort, essentially letting you see a path of doing more with less, and in turn working smarter not harder.

With these new insights on possible innovations, you can begin to act on and process these new ideas in the development of new products or methodologies, thus allowing you to get a competitive advantage or as VCs like to say, “game the system.”

Finally, combining these new, undiscovered insights with derived innovations, you can increase your acumen in making or carrying out plans of action to achieve your new strategic goals. In other words, by attending MiniTrends you can become that “Rock Star” everyone talks about!

From the development of the printing press, to the photocopier, to the PC, to the Internet, and the cell phone, each one of the these now “common” inventions began when one individual was able to see an emerging trend way before the rest of crowd.

If you ever wonder how they were able to see that far into the future, you first need to have the ability to recognize what you are looking at. This conference will start you on your way to doing so.

MiniTrends 2014: Insight, Innovation & Strategy

8:30 am – 5:30 pm followed by “Power Hour” Reception
Friday, September 26, 2014
Holiday Inn Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TXA limited number of MiniTrends Community spots are available for $150 for this all-day premier event with code Special150-2014 (until Sun Sept 21). Student rate also available.

Registration for MiniTrends 2014

Contact TFI at info@tfi.com or (512)-8898 or visit www.minitrends.com/minitrends-2014 for more information.

MiniTrends’ ABJ Article – “Here’s how to stay on top of ‘minitrends’ and get ahead of the pack”

September 9, 2014


Austin Business Journal Article and Image – “Here’s how to stay on top of ‘minitrends’ and get ahead of the pack” by Dr. John Vanston and Carrie Vanston – Image from Austin Business Journal

Be sure to check out the Austin Business Journal article by Dr. John Vanston and Carrie Vanston entitled “Here’s how to stay on top of ‘minitrends’ and get ahead of the pack.” Find out how to stay on the forefront of emerging trends in your industry and quickly recognize and appreciate those trends and take advantage of them through action — and fast.

To find out even more about how you can do more with less, work smarter, not harder, game the system, and become that “Rock Star” you always hear about, attend MiniTrends 2014: Insight, Innovation & Strategy on Friday, September 26, in Austin, Texas.

Take advantage of  the special limited rate of just $150 for a full day including lunch and a “power hour” reception packed with top speakers like Bazaarvoice founder Brett Hurt, IBM Marketing Director Dr. Jani Byrne, world-renowned futurist David P. Snyder, award-winning author Dr. John Vanston, and USA TODAY’s Road Warrior of the Year Joyce Gioia — Use code “Special150-2014″ (until Sun Sept 21) or click here. Student rate also available.

Meet John & Carrie at WorldFuture 2014 in Orlando

June 17, 2014

WorldFuture 2014, July 11-13, Orlando, FLMiniTrends’ leaders Dr. John Vanston and Carrie Vanston are excited to be conducting a day-long Pre-Conference Master Course at the World Future Society’s annual conference WorldFuture 2014: What If? Our Master Course, MiniTrends and Macro-Change: Turbo-Charging Your Future, also includes our co-presenter and long-time partner, the highly-esteemed futurist David Pearce Snyder and will be held on Thursday, July 10 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Mintirends Keynote Speaker: David Pearce Snyder, Futurist and Contributing Editor, The FuturistThis inspring day begins with David describing the changing world and the forces driving it. He helps you see the future through a matrix of many emerging trends – MiniTrends – that reflect the macro-changes that you must anticipate to be successful as the future unfolds.

Dr. John Vanston, Author, MINITRENDS, Carrie Vanston, Co-Author, MINITRENDS

Dr. John Vanston & Carrie Vanston
presenting Pre-Conference
Master Course at WorldFuture 2014

John and Carrie, authors of the award-winning book MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends, then provide you with the foundation for a strong MiniTrends process with seven ways for you to find, analyze, and profit from important minitrends and their potential business opportunities.

Participants will leave this course with an understanding of:

  • How predictable forces are rapidly reshaping our demography, economic structure, productive technologies, and decision-making processes.
  • How monitoring these forces can enable participants to identify and profit from emerging trends and attractive business opportunities.
  • How participants can apply the information, ideas, and insights presented in this course to guide their business, cause-related, personal, and investment decisions.

We hope you will join us in Orlando for WorldFuture 2014: What If? and our Pre-Conference Master Course: MiniTrends and Macro-Change: Turbo-Charging Your Future.

MiniTrends 2013 Conference – Thank You & Presentation Slides

October 30, 2013

MiniTrends 2013 - Keynote Speaker, Jani Byrne, Dir., IBM

MiniTrends 2013 – Keynote Speaker, Jani Byrne, Dir., IBM

Thank you to everyone who helped make MiniTrends 2013: The Integration of Profit & Social Responsibility such a huge success! The conference slides are up!

Conference Chair Dr. John Vanston and I enjoyed interacting with everyone and appreciated the contagious enthusiasm. The speakers were fantastic, the synergy between attendees exciting, and the overall response great. Now let’s build on the connections we made and all we learned!

Lt-Rt: Carrie Vanston, Media/Mkt Dir., TFI, Conf Dir; Barbara Springer, TechBA, UT at Austin; Keynote Gary Hoover, CEO, Bigwig GameEntrepreneur; Vanessa Manley, MSTC, McCombs School of Business, UT at Austin, Dr. Gary Cadenhead, Dir, MSTC, McCombs School of Business, UT at Austin. Dr. John Vanston, Chairman, TFI, Conf. Chair

A special shout-out goes to our Keynotes Jani ByrneGary Hoover, and John Vanston whose excellent presentations provided the structure of the conference. We also greatly appreciate our wonderful Sponsors and Partners, Planning Committee, and Advisory Board for their integral role in making this such a valuable and fun event.

MiniTrends 2013 Conference Exercise - Impact Wheels

MiniTrends 2013 Conference Exercise – Impact Wheels

Let’s use the LinkedIn MiniTrends Group to continue to network and keep the energy going until MiniTrends 2014. Please feel free to share thoughts and your own minitrends, experiences, and resources with other members of the LinkedIn MiniTrends Group.

We also have a Facebook Page that we welcome you to “like.” We will be posting pictures from the conference and will let you know when they are up. Twitter is @MiniTrendsBook, #minitrends.

MiniTrends 2014: Panel 2: Taking the Plunge

MiniTrends 2013 Panel 2 — l-r: Steve Pearson, CEO, The Pearson Strategy Group, Christopher Justice, CEO, Sparksight, Inc., Andre Angel, CEO, TangoTab, Stacy Zoern, CEO, Community Cars, Jeffrey Fry, Principal, Help Find Care (Photo by Dee Ann Hoeft, Dee Ann’s Photography Studio)

We also encourage you to sign up for our MiniTrends Blog.

Thanks for everyone who handed in evaluation sheets! We appreciated the feedback. Please let us know if you have any more input on how the event went. We welcome ideas from attendees and blog readers on what you would like to see next year.

MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs Discover & Profit From Business & Technology TrendsHopefully everyone has had a chance to take a look at the MINITRENDS book you received at the conference. A quick read of the Preface (Page xxi) and Chapter 10 (Pg 185-186) gives a good overall theme of the book.)

Please let us know progress you make with minitrends, particularly those using concepts from the book and conference. We use examples in our talks, guest blogs, and/or they may be speaking subjects for you next year.

Also please let us know if your organization or one you know would be interested in meeting with us to find out how we might help bring a MiniTrends Mindset to your organization through presentations, workshops, and/or other in-house services.

We are excited to have you in our MiniTrends Circle! We look forward to continuing the connection. In the meantime, please feel free to contact John, Helen Mary, or me with any thoughts or comments.

Warm regards,

Carrie and the TFI/MiniTrends Team

Carrie Vanston, Media/Marketing Director
MiniTrends Conference Director
Co-Author, MINITRENDS: How Innovators & Entrepreneurs & Discover & Profit From Business & Technology Trends
–The Pinnacle Book Achievement Best Business Book Award Winner
–Eric Hoffer Business Book of the Year Winner
–Finalist: ForeWord Reviews; USA Book News; Global Business eBook

Turn on Automated Alerts to Tune Out Information Overload When Monitoring Trends

December 12, 2012

Photo Credit: http://technorati.com: http://scm-l3.technorati.com/11/12/12/58393/alert.gif?t=20111212034429

Photo Credit: http://technorati.com: http://scm-l3.technorati.com/11/12/12/58393/alert.gif?t=20111212034429

Part Two of a Two-Part Series by Guest Blogger Steve Pearson, Visionex Solutions, LLC

Automated alerts can help you stay competitive with real-time data about very specific subjects, technologies, authors and/or companies. Customizing state-of-the-art reports and automated alerts based on client-specified criteria are essential elements of my business, but there are some out-of-the box resources you may find useful.

Automated alerts can reduce your scanning time by notifying you about newly published information. For example, Google Alerts monitors a large portion of the web and emails you anything it considers relevant. Of course, you may not agree with Google’s version of “relevant” and you‘ll still spend valuable time scanning and sorting.

Fortunately, there are other many automated alerts. Setting each one up to deliver quality information and avoid overload is important.

Technical Alerts deliver bibliographic information regarding newly published research papers, dissertations and conference proceedings – if it meets your specified criteria. The data for these alerts originate from databases such as Compendex, which is one of the largest in the scientific field, currently indexing 1,031 journals from around the world. These alerts use the bibliographic information to provide tailored results.

Patent Alerts are keyed to patent and patent application information from around the world. For example, many companies like to know when a key competitor files patent applications or receives a granted patent.

RSS Alerts are different from RSS Readers because they allow you to “mine” the RSS streams of your choice for keywords that you consider important.

Web Page Alerts are simple in concept but they are extremely useful since they monitor a specific url for changes. Anytime the page changes you will receive a notification and that notification will allow you to view the new page changes highlighted. These alerts are especially valuable for monitoring product announcements from competitors, really long governmental pages or working groups.

Table of Contents (TOC) Alerts send you the TOC information for specific publications, typically weeks or months in advance of the publication date. These alerts are valuable not only for their speed but also because you can quickly glance through each TOC and purchase only those publications that are appealing. (And save money on subscriptions and/or memberships.)

Social Alerts typically monitor sites like Facebook, blogs and Twitter for keywords.

Government Alerts help keep you apprised of recently published research sponsored by the Federal Government and announcements of new solicitations of bids.

Business and Market Alerts are great because companies are constantly marketing themselves by making product announcements. Further, most market research companies will announce their newest reports covering specific industries or companies.

Trademark Alerts allow monitoring of specific company’s applications, monitoring your own trademarks for potential infringement or monitoring for key terms that you define.

Domain Alerts monitor new domain name registrations so that you can learn about new and potentially problematic names.

Many companies find that the best way to control their time and expense with Alerts is to hire an intermediary that not only has access to the services that charge money but also knows how to set them up properly.

Guest blogger Steve Pearson is a consultant helping companies accelerate innovation and product development. Through his firm Visionex Solutions, LLC, he delivers competitor-busting research with tools and reports he has developed over his career as an engineer, trainer and analyst.

Steve specializes in intellectual property management, technology identification and market assessment and takes pride in applying lessons from his broad background to help those in the electrical, mechanical, energy, construction or transportation industries. Visit  his site  for more information.