Going back to 1965, the average lifespan of an S&P 500 company was 33 years and has been decreasing ever since. The year 1990 marked a low with average 20 years’ lifespan in the year 1990 and is expected to see a further decrease to 14 years by the year 2026. The major reason identified for this drop is the lack of long-term vision and the growing organizational inertia.
The futurist CFOs bring in a long-term vision which is systematic and sustainable and aids in the continuous growth of the company, evident through the projections based on the treasure of analyzed data. CFOs can involve in a predictive analysis as the data improves. Technologies are being developed to capture and record meaningful data for the purpose of analytics. The futurist CFOs are using statistical models to improve projections through data analytics. The role of the CFO is moving from just reporting to accurately forecasting the future fate of the company, and suggesting ways to improve numbers.
To become a futurist CFO:
Use Data and Analytics to look into the future
The CFOs should work at the junction where data and analytics find value. As the analytics shifts from historical to predictive, the role of CFO also has evolved from evaluating data for quantifying and reporting past performance to forecast future trends and accordingly move forward in the traced direction with the right strategy and set of tools. The futurist CFO is not only hands-on with pulling out data and analyzing it with the help of artificial intelligence but are also adept at interpreting the processed data and creating a story out of it.
The top futurists, subsequently, will have sharp communications abilities, high levels of interest and the ability to captivate an audience. However, they will not be winging it because they proceed. While there is nothing to prevent a futurist out of holding a seminar room crowd spellbound, studying the numbers signifies the diametrical opposite of gazing into a crystal ball. It needs to be clarified here that it isn’t the aim of a futurist to predict what’s exactly going to occur in the near future or far sight. The futurist utilizes foresight to explain what might occur in the future, also sometimes, what should occur in the future.
Reframe data-driven insights as possibilities
The futurist CFOs are able to identify opportunities, pick up the best possible outcomes and influence the chain of events to ensure the desired future. They can also implement insights to identify performing and non-performing areas of the business to allocate resources accordingly to achieve goals.
Be that as it may, even the best-prepared futurists will work up against imminent debunkers, so organizations need to give them precisely what you can call “futurist’s benefit”. Futurists need the breathing space to talk truth to control and furthermore start a discussion about the long-term, regardless of whether it isn’t comfortable or the forecast apparently conceivable.
Welcome accountability, accept responsibility
For all of the regard a CFO-as-futurist can control, the privilege and high-standing include an obligation, and C-suite executives should keep futurists accountable. Some magnetic types that claim the name might practice what high tech businesses call “innovation theater”–positing smoke and mirrors instead of strong data and direction.
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