We fear the future and don’t like change. It’s human nature, an anthropologic version of the scorpion and the frog. Witness people’s reactions to cell phones 15 years ago, which are now ubiquitous, or Facebook and the delightful narcissism it brings. Heck, indoor plumbing was initially rejected. Who, after all, would want to do “that” in their house?
It’s the ability to overcome that innate fear that makes visionaries who they are; that rare and courageous breed. As Ayn Rand said, “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.”
The planning profession has only just struck out, taking the first tentative steps down the roads of which Rand speaks. After all, it was only a generation ago that a pension was the only planning anyone had to worry about. If ever there was a profession to embrace the future, this is it.
Which is the reason for our annual “Future” issue, a look ahead at the technology, regulation, succession and everything else just over the horizon, as well as the opportunity (and, yes, danger) they bring.
To be better prepared, of course, but also to address headlines like this, which came over the transom as I sat to write and references Investment Advisor contributor Michael Kitces: “Kitces: Advisors’ Fear of Social Media ‘Ridiculously Overblown’.”
This from the man who has completely embraced technology and whom the accompanying story refers to as a “Twitterphile.” His success in the planning and advisor space cannot be denied. Might there be a connection?
Visionary, technophobe, scorpion, frog—which one are you? Once you figure it out, compare it with where you are in the profession and how far along you are to self-imposed goals. If you find yourself lacking, try something new. What have you got to lose? After all, who knows what the future holds … for any of us.