The Curse of Foresight

“Maybe we need to experience the pain,” said the CIO of a mid-size hospital system in response to my frustration of trying to explain the value of our services for his organization. We knew what might come his way, but be that as it may, he didn’t buy.

As a company of techno nerds, we might not be the best salespeople nor are we soothsayers; we do, however, understand the benefits of exchanging information electronically, and where our customers can benefit from even more discrete data in their operations.

Our view is that the more data our customers can process automatically, the more efficient they can become—directly improving their bottom line.

For instance, four years ago we approached advertising agencies and proposed the conversion and delivery of weekly logs of commercial airings from broadcasters. With 25 years of experience in media advertising, it made sense to us that seeing what’s on the invoice at the end of the month sooner would help agencies improve service to their advertisers, and resolve issues faster with broadcasters. Since it would be discrete data, agencies’ internal systems could reconcile these airings automatically against their advertising buys, thereby streamlining the whole process.

Well, here we are, four years later, and it’s just now catching on. Why? I think Orson Welles said it best in the ‘70s, “We will sell no wine before its time.”

Foreseeing a little of the future may not take a lot of guessing if you have a lot of experience, but it may not be accepted, valued, or even understood until the pain becomes reality. That lack of foresight isn’t limited to hospital CIOs or advertising agencies, however, as most of us don’t change unless we have to. In any case, while it’s great and exciting to be able to see the future on occasion, even if very limited, it can be frustrating in the wait.

As for that hospital CIO? He did eventually experience the pain, and he’s no longer there.

Warren Lamb
President & CEO
For over three decades, Warren has partnered with media, healthcare, and finance organizations, finding solutions for communication needs and demands.

Published Feb 06, 2017