Forecasting for the Future: How to Hire Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today

Businessman with telescope looking to the future. growth charts.

We all think about trying to fulfill our short-term needs. It’s simply part of human pre-disposition. It’s ingrained in how we think, how we act, and how we interact with the world around us.

But short-term thinking can be extremely detrimental to your business, especially if you act on all of those near-sighted impulses.

Take hiring for example. Yes, you’re trying to find someone to fill an immediate need and to complete a more immediate task. But the more you hire based solely on today’s requirements, the less you’re investing in the lasting success of your business.

Recently, I heard Adaptive Advisor and former Oracle CFO Jeff Epstein outline his 5 secrets to success for modern CFOs. To explain one of his five tips, Jeff used his previous experience as EVP and CFO of DoubleClick, the digital marketing technology provider that was eventually purchased by Google. He noted that, of the original 11 DoubleClick employees, there were:

  • 4 Future CEOs
  • 4 Future CFOs
  • 3 Future SVPs or COOs

His message?

In a fast-growing company, hire for talent and ambition.

It’s one of the best things we’ve done here Adaptive Insights, and it’s the reason why so many leaders within our company today have been with Adaptive for over a decade. Employee retention and growth is the most effective way to create a workforce full of emotionally invested people who will go the extra mile to ensure the company’s long-term success.

Making such hires is not easy. It takes the discipline to forecast for long-term success.  It requires an understanding of where your business is today, a forecast of where you want your business to go, and a plan to get there. Proper financial planning and financial forecasting provides the clearest indicator of all three. Steve Player, Program Director for Beyond Budgeting Round Table, is one of the foremost experts in helping people to implement a rolling forecasts system within their organizations. He regularly details the value of a rolling forecast system during his webinars, which I highly recommend to anyone looking to leverage their financial data to make better business decisions.

Regularly forecasting will give you the numbers to identify important business factors like recurring revenue, sales margins, and employee spending, all of which can be used to create a road map for future business growth.

So ask yourself: How many of your employees today are capable of leading your company tomorrow? And maybe even more importantly, do you have the right tools and data to answer this question?

Rob Hull is Founder & Chairman of Adaptive Insights. Follow @AdaptiveRob and @AdaptiveInsight on Twitter for more leading business finance advice. 

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