So, Why Are “Futurists” Still Stuck in the Past?

And driving poor LOLCat to drink?

There are a few reasons.

  1. They Have No Knowledge as they come from different backgrounds which offer them no education or experience in Supply Management.
    Just because you can get high, have psychedelic visions, white them down, and spin a good yarn doesn’t mean you can be a futurist. A poet, sure, but not a futurist …
  2. They Have No Vision beyond what the rear view mirror (or the hydrocarbon gas from the bituminous limestone) offers them.
    When Meatloaf said “it was long ago and far away and it was so much better than it is today“, he was referring to newly discovered young love, not business processes identified 30 years ago …
  3. They See Too Many Organizations Stuck in the Past and a few organizations (in the Hackett top 8%) ahead of the pack and they think they can peddle these best practices as future vision.
    This is not 1914 (which was 12 years before the first transatlantic telephone call) where good ideas take years to spread (and the first person to bring a new idea or technology from a different continent can make millions on someone else’s work) and a career can be built on one single improvement — this is 2014 where it only takes a few seconds for a story to be spread around the world. But I guess if you can’t look beyond the rear-view mirror …

So, why are so many organizations still stuck in the past (and fuelling the flame that powers these fantasy futurists)? There’s a few reasons, and they include:

  • Lack of Education
    Many Supply Managers were simply thrust into the role, with no training or background for the role. And despite the fact that they have some competence or experience in other areas, they are so ill-equipped and ill-prepared for the role that they might as well have been dropped in The Lost World*.
  • Lack of Resources
    Most Supply Managers are overworked (and underpaid, but who isn’t these days) and resource-constrained, with no time for training and no budget even if they had the time (or would sacrifice their few remaining free hours to get better and more efficient so that maybe someday they can take a whole weekend off).
  • Lack of Clarity
    With no formal education, no training, and no resources to make sense of the barrage of BS being thrown at them by futurists and analysts alike, how can they differentiate between current and past processes and technologies and what they need to embark on a path that will ready them for what comes next?

And the third reason is the most crucial. Until they get some clarity, Supply Managers are going to continue to be taken in by modern con-men (who include 2nd rate analysts, consultants, and salesmen of outdated technology) selling them silicon snake oil when they just need modern sourcing and procurement tools that fit their workflow and daily needs.

So, to this end, now that we’ve explained why thirty (30) of the thirty-three (33) future-trends are, at best, last decade’s future trends, we’re going to explain why futurists (and the organizations they preach too) are still stuck in the past, what’s relevant, and what it means to you and your organization.

And we’re going to do it one trend at a time. Starting tomorrow, with “future” trend #33 on governmental regulations, we’re going to illuminate the old news and ongoing blues trends one by one until we’ve laid them all bare. It will take a while, but if you stick with it, it will be worth the effort.

What do you think, LOLCat?

"Futurists" Drive Me Bananas!"

Me too, LOLCat. Me too.

* I’m referring to the original here, so if you’re thinking Michael Crichton, then the problem is even bigger than you realize.