“Inaction in the face of opportunity is but an excuse!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
‘’ This picture: the band Supertramp had a song that had a phrase that resonates: “When you’re up on the stage it’s so unbelievable, unforgettable.” Yup – that about sums it up!
Part of the role of a futurist is to provide people insight into the trends that will be a part of their future, but also to put into perspective the opportunities these trends present. A lot of people get excited when they see what I can offer in that regard.
But people are funny – I had a call from a senior VP of a major company in the retail industry back in December. She thought that it would be extremely helpful to bring me in to their upcoming corporate leadership meeting – with so much change in retail they need to be challenged in their thinking. With clients like Disney, The GAP, Pepsi, Godiva, and more, I certainly have a track record for doing just that.
Fast forward. She wrote back last week, indicating that their CEO didn’t think it was a good time to be doing this. Stay the course. Stick with the status quo. They didn’t need to be challenged right now ; they had a strategy and needed to see it through. They might think about doing a deep-dive future session next year. Something like that.
What’s that phrase people use? I was gobsmacked, particularly after she had outlined in a conference call all the issues that they needed to be thinking about!
Here’s the thing – I get a lot of situations like this! Where someone on a corporate team knows that the organization needs to be challenged out of their complacency — but then it goes up the ladder, where senior management puts a stop to the idea. I’m never sure why, but I know what the result will be.
This particular organization will now go on my fail-radar. I’ll watch them over the next decade, along with dozens of others, and will see the stumbles and failures and missteps they will make as they fail to align to obvious future trends. Not because they didn’t bring me in — but because they clearly are driven by a culture of indecision!
Inaction is in their soul
This might be you!’’