“You definitely need a new CFO! A Chief Futurist Officer!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
No, I’m not looking for a job! I’ve been working really hard for the last 25 years to not have to go and find one – instead, spending my time on stage around the world guiding people into the future.
Professionally, though, I am an accountant, which makes my transition into a global futurist all that much more odd. But not really – in my former profession, I used raw numerical data to understand where we have been and where we are going. My new career of 25 years pretty much has me doing the same thing, but with different data and a *vivid* imagination.
Here’s the point though – I find that many organizations still do not dedicate a sufficient number of resources to understanding where they might be going. Consider the typical Board of Directors – it has a skill matrix that ticks the boxes for audit, legal, financial, executive compensation and risk. Very few have an individual specifically assigned to provide the Board with guidance into what comes next?
The same holds true for the top tier of most major companies. They’ve got finance, legal, HR, purchasing and other functions nailed, but don’t have anyone with senior responsibility for providing the insight and strategy into where the company will be tomorrow. Sure, it might be the CEO, but often, he or she is all too busy fighting fires to really focus on the future.
The result is that the organization is often like a surfboard dude hit by a big wave. “Whoah, where did that come from?”