This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

December 30, 2009

Looking Backward---Looking Ahead

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

This year has seen 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 that we previously thought. See the 2010 Workforce/Workplace Forecast.

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 and 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, 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 US 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-bourn bacteria to continue to be a problem for many years to come.

Even the US store chain Best Buy is using the WePower's vertical axis wind turbine to provide power to its store in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, so we were correct in saying "WePower has made wind turbines . . . more accessible . . . businesses." 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 US Brazil, China, Japan, and Korea.

Next year promises to be a most interesting year---and better for many us that 2009.

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