Something struck me as I was out for a walk today and listening to a podcast. The story was a cold case mystery. What struck me was the narrator’s introduction. He spoke about how investigations tend to unfold and how human nature can impede the process. How leads are followed, sometimes weak points are built upon, and visions are telescoped so that we find not the truth, but what we want to find. The strongest force in any investigation can be its weakest point.
Why am I talking about a podcast and investigations on Color-fuel’s blog? The investigative process is what I employ when researching trends in design and color. Exploration, Observation, and Analysis – all the time, even when off-duty, so to speak. Additionally, in my work with Color Marketing Group, I review the results from all of the ChromaZone® Color Forecasting Workshops and Regional Conferences throughout the year. The board and executive committee are passionate that we gather the best information from our members and through our unique processes, steer that data to what is then presented back to the members at the Summit as The World Color Forecast™. It works, and what I love is that we are always working to make it better.
Personally, for my own purposes at Colorfuel, I want to be sure that I am finding the truth in my research. That I am not following ONLY the strongest leads. I often get caught in rabbit holes and sometimes time and budget determine the point at which I have to stop and put some tangible results on paper. How to improve? I have found it extremely valuable to do the discovery part of the process with other forecasters, whether it’s at a trade show or shopping or traveling. Spotting our discoveries and discussing the “why” behind what we are seeing. This is one valuable way that I have found to get past a mono-focus on what I am seeing on my own.
On the flip-side, sometimes group discussions can be swayed by a strong force in the group. This is something we have all experienced whether in a trend-forecasting workshop or other work setting and it behooves us to be on alert. Sometimes our passion about a topic takes the lead. Not that a discussion or trend topic is faulty necessarily, but are we missing something smaller that will actually get us further into the future? As I mentioned I have learned a lot through my membership with CMG in how to research effectively and hope to continue sharing that while learning more from fellow members and forecasters.