Influential Damnation 98: Pundits / Futurists

Pundits and Futurists, who are one in the same, are the third influential damnation we are discussing, having already addressed consortiums and conferences. In order to see how these individuals are one in the same, we’ll start by reviewing standard definitions.

A pundit is defined as a person who offers to mass media their opinion or commentary on a particular subject area on which they appear to be knowledgeable.

A futurist is defined as a person who regularly makes predictions about the future, which is precisely what a pundit typically does when they offer their opinion and commentary to mass media!

Why are these individuals a damnation?

First of all, as clearly explained in Sourcing Innovation’s recent series on
The “Future” of Procurement: What’s Old is Still Old! and An Expose of Procurement “Future” Trends: Digging Deep to Reveal the Truth, most of what those bloody futurists are proclaiming as the grand future of Procurement is old news, ongoing blues, or remanufactured shoes. Most of what they have been preaching from the worn out pulpit the last few years is the exact same message that their futurist predecessor were preaching one or more decades (or even centuries) ago!

Secondly, like the purveyors of apps, mobile, big data, and cloud, most of their messages are based in fear. If you don’t prepare for this today, you will go out of business tomorrow. If you don’t get this platform today, you will be relegated to the third world tomorrow. If you don’t jump on this process today, you will bleed red tomorrow.

Thirdly, when they get tired of preaching their tired old messages, they jump on the first vendor that gets a bad rap in the gossip chain as a result of an implementation that didn’t go perfectly, typically before figuring out why and who is really to blame. While it’s usually the case that the vendor didn’t do as good of a job managing the project as they should have done, it’s often the case that the customer didn’t heed the advice of the vendor and tried to rush ahead or do something themselves that was difficult without getting proper training and guidance. Enterprise technology, and especially enterprise technology that relies on a lot of integrations, data, advanced analytics, or sophisticated models, is always more involved and difficult to implement, integrate, and configure than you think it is and trying to do it yourself without an understanding of the nuances and gotchas is just asking for trouble. And while it is true that some vendors charge a lot for this service, it was the customer’s choice to select that vendor in the first place so the blame typically rests as much on the customer as on the vendor. And a pundit that just jumps all over the vendor without getting a full picture of what went wrong and how it could have been prevented doesn’t help anyone. We need to identify failings, their root causes, and solutions so that everyone can learn and move forward. Not encourage Perez Hiltons’ to invade our space.

Anyway, they’re a damnation and that’s why if the doctor is anything, he’s an anti-futurist.