This week, we launch a completely new tool to get you from where you are to where you want to go. The tool is called Forrester Future Fitness. It’s an atypical tool for Forrester, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Or maybe, transformative times call for transformative measures.

Note: Want to read the in-depth, article-length version of this post that provides more detail and food for thought? Download the article here, or keep reading below to get to the brass tacks.

The timing is apt. Today we kick off our Consumer Marketing 2019 Forum in NYC. The room is packed and energetic, and in conversations with our clients here, about two-thirds of them tell us they are going through some kind of digital transformation. Some are leading it, others are trying to support it, but they’re all trying to change. In a private council meeting ahead of the event yesterday, we sat in a room with about 50 CMOs and senior marketing leaders to discuss what obstacles they face. The concerns run the gamut, from lack of executive commitment to lack of clarity on what the vision is — something as simple as “What do we want our customers to get out of this transformation?” isn’t being asked as often or insistently as it should be.

When asked to summarize where I would encourage the room to start, I said to start with the thing you can control: yourself. Are you fit enough to run this race? When you want to train for a marathon, you turn to a running pro to assess your fitness and learn how you can improve. But how do you prepare yourself to be fit for the future of marketing automation, AI, and business transformation?

Start with the thing you can control: yourself.
Are you fit enough to run this race?

That’s where our new report, “Introducing Forrester Future Fit,” comes in. Future fitness describes what it’s like to have more of the resources you need to prepare your organization for the future. It encapsulates your view of the world, the energy you bring to your vision, and your ability to navigate change. To measure your future fitness, we drew on surveys of millions of people over two decades to build and test a simple assessment tool that scores people on a scale from 1 to 100. The higher you are, the more fit you are for the future — the more resources you have to draw from. This makes you more willing and able to grab technology and make good use of it.

What exactly does that mean? In future fitness, we capture nine attributes that are predicted by your score on the future fit scale. They include things such as curiosity, agility, emotional health, a bias for cooperation, and collaboration. These are all qualities you can change with enough self-awareness and effort. Using our quick assessment tool, we can group you into one of three groups. For example, if you score 80–100 on future fitness, you are in the high category, the 80th percentile. As a result, you are more likely to score high on the nine attributes of future fitness than people who score below the 80th percentile. Similarly, people who score medium on our assessment — ranging from 50 up to 80 — score higher than those who score low, or below 50, on all nine of the attributes.

Knowing where you score low tells us something about your limiting factors (read a lengthier discussion of what limiting factors are in this in-depth article). What is your personal limiting factor? We want to help you figure that out as soon as possible because we believe you can augment and improve it. Here’s our plan for how we share this revelation with you.

  1. Score yourself as high, medium, or low in future fitness. You can do that at https://forr.com/futurefit. There we have built a simple assessment tool that lets us statistically project from answers to just a few basic questions how you would likely score if we ran you through the whole battery of questions that measure fitness. Consider this like a blood test at the doctor’s office or a fitness test your personal trainer gives you to quickly evaluate a few key things about your readiness.
  2. Take that score and begin an honest self-evaluation. We can’t use the quick assessment to give you complete scores for the nine attributes. But we can at least share the nine attributes with you so you can start interrogating yourself for your abilities in each of these areas. After you take the Forrester Future Fit test, you can download a summary sheet of the nine attributes that shows how people in each fitness group tend to score. If you already took the test and missed that sheet, go to https://forr.com/futurefitnextsteps and click on the “Download PDF” link at the bottom of the page to get the summary file.
  3. Sign up to learn more. Our next step will be much more ambitious. We want to give you the chance to take the full assessment, to get an independent score for each of the nine attributes. That isn’t ready yet — we have to do more development on the experience side, even though all the data is ready to go. But if you go to https://forr.com/futurefitnextsteps and click the “Sign up” link at the bottom of the page, we’ll capture your email for this purpose only, and when we’re ready to launch the full assessment tool, we’ll come back to share it along with more content designed to help you strengthen each of your resources and elevate your limiting factors.

We believe we’re at a turning point. Embarking on a digital transformation solely to be more digital is not enough. Without empowering people to understand what resources are limiting their potential, it won’t matter what technology systems you invest in. Stay tuned and look forward to more help from us soon.

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James McQuivey, PhD is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester. He is also the author of the book Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation.