I caught this Job Title of the Future from a recent piece on The Atlantic, describing the Hershey Company's quest to find, what the Atlantic called a 'Chocolate Futurist', or what Hershey refers to in their still-posted job ad, a 'Senior Manager, Foresight Activation.'
I think The Atlantic wins points for the jazzier job title.
Just what does a 'Chocolate Futurist/Foresight Activator' have to do?
Straight from the Hershey job listing:
Supports the activation of existing foresight (trends, forecasts, scenarios) into strategic opportunities (SOs) and platforms with commercial value for Hershey, mining existing foresight content for highest potential business impact opportunities or threats. Performs ongoing monitoring of the external environment for new insights and trends approaching tipping points. Partners with external agencies to identify new trends that can inform and accelerate foresight activation. Collaborates with Corporate Strategy, R&D, Global Knowledge & Insights and Silicon Valley Advance Team as well as other business and functional teams to flesh out opportunity assessment and business case. Shapes new initiatives in the front of funnel and drives to successful completion through Gates A, B and C.
What kind of background or education do you need in order to activate foresight and drive to successful completion through Gates A, B, and C, (what the heck does that even mean, btw?)
Education: MBA in Marketing or Masters in related field required
Experience: Minimum of 8+ year’s relevant experience. Multi-disciplinary background (Marketing, Corporate Strategy, R&D, Management Consulting). User design or consulting experience a plus. Solid front-end innovation capability including the identification of insights and translation to business growth strategy.
So, in order to 'activate foresight' it probably would help if you had a solid, cross-functional background, had a fair bit of customer-facing experience, and new something about product development and management.
But, at least according to the posting copy, in order to be qualified to be a Chocolate Futurist/Foresight Activator, you don't necessarily have to know anything much about chocolate. In fact the word chocolate doesn't show up anywhere in the listing.
Which in a way is kind of cool. The future might not be all that chocolat-y, who knows?
Maybe the foresight activator for a chocolate company should be someone that doesn't view the world through cocoa-tinted lenses.
Maybe Hershey is actually showing some foresight themselves in looking outside their normal frames of reference to find someone to help them 'form presentations that create a tangible vision of what the future might look like that business partners can grasp.'
Sounds like a cool gig. And one that earns official SFB designation as a 'Job Title of the Future.'