“If your people aren’t ready for my message, then you have a bigger problem than you think!” – #Futurist Jim Carroll
Here is a “it happens all too often” scenario: someone calls me, eager to bring me in for a talk about the future, in order to get their organizational aligned to this world of faster change. They want deep, customized insight on the trends that will disrupt, challenge and change their industry and their company.
Excited, they go to seek approval of the CEO or senior executive who would have to sign off on the event, and the message comes back that they don’t think they are ready for such a message.
The future will happen to them. They’ll be disrupted, face an onslaught of new competitors, see technology cause profound change within the industry, suffer massive skills challenges and more.
And yet, they’d rather let the future happen to them, before they can figure out how to be involved with the future as it happens.
Sheepishly, the initial contact gives me the reasons why ‘they aren’t ready.’ The senior executive doesn’t want to rock the boat. There are other priorities right now. They don’t want to worry their staff about the challenges they face. They’d prefer to keep everyone in the dark. Or worse – they don’t think they will be impacted by trends. LOL.
I get a litany of excuses from organizations as to why they don’t want to deal with the future ‘right now.’ It’s always mystified me, and years later, I can see what happens as things go off the rails in terms fo their strategy!
The simple fact of bringing me obviously would not have fixed their structural problems.
But the fact that the senior management didn’t think that their team sold be talking about those challenges and trends just about says it all! Organizations engineer themselves into a position of failure!