We Suck at Predicting the Future, Let’s Focus on the Now

future

We Suck at Predicting the Future, Let’s Focus On the Now!

No matter the professional community, (HR, Marketing, Finance, or Sales) at the end of each year the pundits and experts try to show-off by predicting the big industry trend for the following year. Technology is always an easy one to write about yet each year there is no ground breaking tech that everyone must have. At the end of 2014, I read several articles about how next year (meaning this year) talent acquisition is the big futuristic trend. Really? That’s all you got?

Talent is not a future trend, it is an NOW trend and in fact it is always a top concern. Jim Collins’ Good to Great had a chapter about getting the right people on bus and that book is old as hell – yeah it’s old but that part of the book remains true to form. Talent acquisition and management never goes out of style and just like technology, it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure that out.

One of our great predictors of the future is the past. Look over 2014 and what were the other big issues – beside talent? Race! Pay Equity! And Security.

Sure they are not as comfortable to talk about or tackle as technology. Technology is safe, you don’t have to worry about offending someone when you talk about technology – unless you are brave enough to talk about the lack of diversity is technology, which is why minority programs like “Black Girls Code” is so important.

People like Will.I.am offering technology scholarships to young black kids from the inner city. And  school systems who are brave enough to put tablets and IPads in the hands of inner city kids as well as suburban kids…that’s a battle we have ongoing in Memphis right now.  Recently, I’ve had discussions with business leaders and a CEO of tech Start-up Company who agreed it’s tough to get funding for tech for Shelby County Schools because no one wants to pay for it versus the surrounding areas. Trust me folks, it’s true and it happens.

Back to the future (get it? Back to the Future) Race continues to be a sore spot with most leaders who are not sure how to handle it. In my day job, I am a resume writer; I have a new client who works in the news media in Ferguson, MO area. I was shocked to learn that she had to explain and educate her superiors on the need to cover stories from various angles. She also had to explain to them that brining in outside reporters and camera men was a bad idea. They didn’t listen and the outsiders were stonewalled by the community – they wouldn’t talk to them, wouldn’t interview or cooperate with them because they didn’t know them – they were outsiders. See, that’s an angle I know you hadn’t considered. Ferguson is still developing today, people are losing their jobs, being asked to resign and still protesting – but that’s a carry-over from 2014, right? What about Wisconsin? Or Oklahoma and the SAE Fraternity? Race people…learn how to deal with it.

Equal Pay – You heard Patricia Arquette at the Oscars, women are underpaid. And minority women are really underpaid. There are SOME ladies in leadership; it’s time for you to fight for equal pay. There are too many HR ladies who see these discrepancies and turn a blind eye to them. Time to speak up ladies; you’ve got the title now step up! Don’t let them play you like that, when they play you, they play all of us.

Security – How much customer info has to be stolen before we realize we have to go after the best and brightest coders and programmers to help keep customer/client data safe. That crazy situation with Sony, Target and other major retailers does not stop there. We have to admit, HR is not tech savvy so we need to find those who specialize in it and hire them.

I’m not thinking about the future, I’m thinking about now. We missed the mark on our future predictions so let’s be present in the moment and address these problems now.

2 Comments

  1. Michael Haberman

    Chris:
    I get your point, but you are wrong in saying we should not be prepared for the future. In many cases it may take you 3 to 5 years to put something in place and if you have not prepared for it then when the change is necessary you will now be behind the curve and you will be stuck in reactive HR mode instead of strategic. Predictions are not really designed to be spot on, they are designed to be an idea of what can occur so you can begin adapting and preparing.

    1. newresource (Post author)

      Well if they are not designed to be spot on then they are indeed spot on. As a blogger I know that you know what I am getting at here. When you look about over our small HR Twitter Space we really do talk about a lot of stuff to each other but I wonder does it really help the HR Manager or Directors of HR. When I asked them about top concerns and top future concerns, the things we write about barely makes the list.

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