To prepare themselves for the future, leaders need to keep an eye on the things that will influence their businesses.
With this in mind, one of my first posts each year lists the things that I think will have the biggest impact on the world we live and work in in the next few years.
This list not only helps me stay focused on the important topics, but also serves to track whether or not I am watching the right things.
This is the list so far [with the year that the items were added]:
1) Rapid advancements in technology 
2) Mobile (user experience and marketing) 
3) Mobile payments 
5) Privacy issues 
6) Emerging markets 
7) The Internet of Things 
8) The evolution of retail (including omni-channel retail) 
9) A global marketplace 
10) 3D printing 
11) Cyberattacks 
12) Ethics 
14) RFID, NFC, and beacons 
15) Augmented reality (AR) 
16) Virtual reality (VR) 
17) SEO for the Internet of Things 
18) Experiential marketing 
19) Wearables 
21) Machine learning & artificial intelligence (AI) 
22) Voice-activated technology 
23) Business collaboration with the competition 
25) Robotics 
26) Subscription business model 
27) How online communications influence public opinion 
28) Market research techniques for the 21st Century 
Each year, I add a few new items to the list.
However, this year, I combined omni-channel retail with the evolution of retail. Although omni-channel retail is important enough to stand alone, nearly all retail will need to be omni-channel in the near future. Therefore, I think it makes sense to combine these two items.
I also deleted the evolution of marketing and public relations because it is implied when you consider all the other items on the list, in aggregate.
Finally, I broke augmented reality and virtual reality into two separate categories, because we are starting to see some interesting things happen with these two technologies.
So again, you have my updated list. If there is anything that you think that I should add, please feel free to comment below.