Advanced Strategic Thinking; Innovation Capability; Future Alert Subscription

Our core product offerings give you a significant point of leverage that enhance your ability to increase profits and reduce costs.

The essence of the service we offer will help you:

  • To enhance the strategic thinking and selection at any level of your organisation;
  • Develop and Improve ‘Purpose Driven’ Innovation capabilities
  • Gain an extended lead time for emerging changes within your marketplace

We provide you this essential results driven process through a number of ways.  Both the training program listed below and the details listed un the ‘Services’ tab are well worth reading –

Training Programs with Impact

Looking Up Feeling Good will customise our training programs to suit exactly what you are looking for and to deliver the outcomes you want.  Our training sessions revolve around the core themes –

  1. Greater Operational Awareness, Sooner;  
  2. More Critically Developed Strategies; and
  3. Increased Functional Adaptability and Flexibility


Listed below are the core programs we provide.  Public programs are available to multiple organisations in the one room with no limit on the number of members from that organisation being present.

Private programs are ‘client only’ sessions conducted specifically for one client and may be inhouse or off-site as best fits the needs of your organisation. They are typically designed for your specific requirements

  • Introduction to Environmental Scanning     1/2 Day
  • Advanced Environmental Scanning   3x 1/2 Day sessions
  • Public & Private Session Options

Environmental Scanning (ES) is the process of deliberately searching out emerging, unusual and provocative snippets of information that indicate the early signs of change within your Industry both as potential areas of increased risk and possible opportunities for development.

The 1/2 day program introduces you to the process of Environmental Scanning (ES), shows how your organisation can build an ES framework, gives you models to consider when building that framework and shows how you can maximise opportunities that these early change indicators uncover.

The Advanced Environmental Scanning builds upon the internal capability by extending skills of discovery and assessment of ES data. These sessions are aimed at providing your organisation with a core ES capability for specific use for strategic decision making and risk assessment

  • Environmental Scanning Intensive Course     9 weeks
  • Private Only Training Option

This intensive ES training course uses weekly face to face, phone and online based contact modes to inject the critical ES skills required to both uncover, capture and analyse data discovered in the ongoing company ES.  Limited to no more than 3 employees at a time, this course builds a comprehensive capacity for your organisation to move beyond the ‘data monitoring’ agency model towards one in which it actively sources and assesses emerging signals of change from within and beyond its operating environments.  This enhanced capacity acts as a strategic advanced scouting party, giving your senior management team extra time to consider, articulate and prepare effective strategy in the light of potential change.

  • Introduction to Strategic Foresight Tools & Methods     1 day
  • Public & Private Training Options

Strategic Foresight is the process of consciously considering potential in the future at any given time.  This process leads to better decision frameworks and additional time to develop organisational readiness for change. This one day program covers a vast array of popular strategic foresight tools and methodologies, how they work and can be applied, their benefits and their limitations.  In order to increase your organisation’s Foresight Quotient (FtQ) and thereby improve your strategy development, having the capacity to know what tools are available and how to apply them is vital

  • Introduction to Scenario Planning     1 day 
  • Public & Private Training Options

Scenario Planning is one of the best known Strategic Foresight Methods.  Knowing which Scenario process best fits your needs and whether undertaking a Scenario Planning exercise is going to be of value to your business, is an important key to ensuring ‘relevance’ of the process for your organisation.  In this one day program you will be taken through the common Scenario Planning methodologies, consider case studies as examples of how they have been applied and then assess whether Scenario Planning can provide the leverage to improve your organisation’s strategy development processes.

This exceptional client only program has been designed to help your business uncover the answers to some critical issues – the two or three key future focused questions you would want answered.  Combining an intensive Environmental Scan, closed door face to face sessions and a final report, your key team will be guided by two expert facilitators as you consider the future operating environment for your organisation, what that means for where you organisation is now positioned, what you might do to prepare for potential changes and how you link the ideas for the future to operational imperatives for today.  Our clients who’ve been through the ASp have had great success at redefining and identify opportunities and risks greatly adding to their depth of understanding of their potential to succeed in their given Industry sectors.

  • Introduction to Visioning     1/2 day 
  • Public & Private Session Options

Much has been written about Visions, what they are and what they should do.  But the ways in which you can create a Vision that works is less understood.  In this half day program we explore what Visions are, how they can be used and consider which of the methods for creating a Vision would suit your organisation.

  • Visioning – Creating a Compelling Vision  1 day
  • Private Session

At the bottom of the ladder, ‘message from on high, motherhood filled’ Vision statements do nothing to excite or engage staff, management, customers and stakeholders, and in fact can be down right detrimental to the business.  At the top of the ladder are the Visions that act as shining stars for the organisation, drawing it and its people forward into a better future.  This one day workshop is aimed at helping your organisation create the type of Vision that is ‘energy charged’, that makes everyone’s heart beat a little faster and that often makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up and take notice!  Compelling Visions capture the essence of the organisation’s future – make yours a great one!

  • Contingency, Risk & Wildcards     1 day 
  • Public & Private Session Options

How prepared is your organisation for the ‘never in a million years’ event?  You know the types of things – the collapse of Enron or HIH, Exxon Valdez disaster, the Piper Alpha tragedy, even the emergence of the iPod and file sharing!  Have you considered how you would know that your world was about to suddenly change?  This one day session introduces the Strategy Manager and Risk Manager to two of the latest tools for understanding the Wildcard events – the Cascading Discontinuity Set (CDS) and the Reference Impact Grid (RIG).  Both tools enable your organisation to be more critically aware to the potential for sudden change, identify where that change might come from, how it might look and what you might do in the light of such an event.  The RIG takes the idea of contingency plans and risk assessments one step further – it shows how you can identify the risks of your competitors and turn that risk into a significant business advantage!

  • Backcasting – Linking your Organisation’s Future to Today’s Choices     1/2 day 
  • Public & Private Session Options

Explorations of the future indicate a willingness by the organisation to better understand its potential future operating environment.  But unless the exploration of the future is tied back to the Operational choices for today, explorations of the future can often be little more than theoretical navel gazing exercises.  Backcasting is arguably the single most important step in a futures exercise.  Too often it is the single most important step organisations fail to undertake.  This half day program gives you a step by step process to ensure that your thoughts for tomorrow are tied to your actions for today!

  • Advanced Strategic Planning     1 day 
  • Public & Private Session Options

This program is delivered as part of the Australian Strategic Planning Institute’s public workshop – see their website here  The sad fact is that whilst many organisations undertake Strategic Planning processes, too few of them leverage their Strategic Plans to boost business performance.  This session covers what Strategic Plans really are and what Strategic Planning is supposed to do, how Strategic Plans fail and how you can make your Strategic Plan an integral part of ongoing business peformance improvement by looking at areas of measurement, accountability and governance.

 

  • Introduction to Value Systems   1 day 
  • Public & Private Session Options

Value Systems (also known as Spiral Dynamics ™ is a model for understanding individual and organisational behaviour.  Used behind the scenes to enable the breakdown of Apartheid in South Africa, Value Systems theory has since been used in elite sporting teams, education, manufacturing, recruitment and retailing industries around the world.  This introductory session introduces you to Value Systems, (what they are, and are not), where you can go to gain more information and how you might apply them in areas like Marketing, HR, and product development.
(Spiral Dynamics is a Registered Trade Mark of National Values Centre in the USA)

  • Value Systems in Marketing     2 days 
  • Private Session

This two day program draws on the content in the Introductory program and takes a specific focus to the area of marketing.  It explores why most Branding efforts are mismatched to the consumer, why demographic and ethnographic studies often focus on the wrong customer issue, and how you can use the Value Systems approach to build highly adaptable and targeted marketing efforts.

  • Value Systems & Recruitment     2 days
  • Private Session

Employee Recruitment, motivational challenges, staff management, retention and employee incentive programs are often mismatched because the rely on outdated approaches to staff management.  This two day session explores how different Value Systems see the world through different lenses, the implications for management and how you can use that understanding to dramatically boost the performance of your organisation.

  • Certification in Spiral Dynamics – contact us for further details
    Official certification in Spiral Dynamics can only be conferred by the National Values Centre in the USA.  An annual Public program is conducted in Australia and Private programs can be conducted by arrangement 
  • Innovation via the Killing Trends method     1/2 day
  • Public Session
    Much of what you read in newspapers, government websites and popular magazines would have you believe that Innovation is not only something we all should be doing, its easy to do!  This half day session explores the myths and misconceptions about what Innovation is and then explores the Killing Trends model for Innovation – one that actually works!
  • Innovation via the Killing Trends method     2 day program
  • Private Session
    This is a client only two day program that takes your organisation through the Creative/Innovation mine field to discover a clear path to indentifying not only how your organisation can Innovate, but where it should start to do so!Customised Programs
    Other customised programs around the core themes are available – talk to us to see how we can create something that truly fits your needs

    Your Future Questions Answered Today’.  So why wait – ask away!
    EmailLooking Up Feeling Good or 613 96 444 588

Looking for some great books to help your business thinking?  Check out these –

‘The Money Tree & How to Grow One: Creating Success in Your Business’
and
‘Killing Trends – The Graceful Art of Innovation’ (coming soon)
Both at www.barberbooks.com‘The Never Ending Quest’ available from ECLET Publishing
Summary of book found at www.clarewgraves.com/neq/neq.html
and you can purchase the book via www.clarewgraves/neq/NEQ_order.html
by Graves, Cowan & Todorovic

‘Who Really Matters? – The Core Group Theory’
Art Kleiner

’12 and 1/2 Ideas That Work’
Robert Sutton

Books to Improve your futures thinking

Oryx & Crake
Margaret Attwood

Source these books at various locations online

Companies to help you if we can’t –

Advertising & Marketing:
August – website here (for online marketing strategy and web development)

Frontier Media – website here (for advertising campaigns and media buys)

Selbys – website here (for advertising banners, marquees and corporate display materials)

Mellar Marketing – website here (for customer insights, research & analysis, and events planning)

Fireworks PR – website here (for public relations management activity and events planning)

Futures Thinking:
If we cannot assit you with your futures thinking needs there are a range of alternatives both within Australia and around the world:

Meta Futures – www.metafutures.org (for critical futures thinking)
University Futures – www.universityfutures.org (for futures work in the education sector)
Shaping Tomorrow – www.shapingtmorrow.com (for trends and futures articles & thinking from the UK)

Training Services:
Paramount Training – paramounttraining@bigpond.com.au (for NLP, Spiral Dynamics & Counselling)
Performance Toolkit – specialists in Coaching skills for managers and leaders (website here)

Of course we are bound to know many others for almost any need you have, no matter where in the world you are.  Contact us at our email address Email Looking Up Feeling Good or on 613 9445 0289

Call Us Today – We Really Do Deliver

Right now you probably sense that we can help you.  Our skill sets across industry sectors, our track record and our ability to help companies like yours, to think more effectively and be better prepared as an organisation are exceptional.

What you will get are great results and wonderful value from anything we undertake on your behalf.

As strategic futurists we make just one prediction we’d stake our company on – you’ll be glad you engaged us to help you with the challenges you face.

Giving you the Management Capabilities Your Organisation Needs

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  We provide services based around our three core themes:

  1. Greater Operational Awareness, Sooner;  
  2. More Critically Developed Strategies; and
  3. Increased Functional Adaptability and Flexibility

The key aim is to create the desired outcome you want.  We’ll work with you to consider what type of training, facilitation, strategy or information processes suit your needs.  We’ll then customise a process to give you exactly what you need and expect.  The following list will give you an idea of some of the exceptional services available to help your organisation tackle its key strategic challenges

The ‘Future Alerts’ monthly report – Early Action Signals for Your Organisation

How effective would your business run if you based your decisions solely on ‘yesterday’s news’?

That’s right – not very.  In a world of rapidly changing business needs, relying on information that is widely known to the public, easily accessible and as readily available to your competitors is not sufficient!  Businesses that subscribe to Future Alerts are getting something that their competitors do not – the signals that indicate that ‘change is happening’.  In fact not only do they become aware of emerging opportunities for profit, they become aware of emerging areas for increased operational risks.  You’ll see the service explained below and then talk to us today about how you can get ahead of the change curve before you have no options left!

For information to be useful to your organisation you have to

  1. Know before it becomes widely known
  2. Know it before your competitors
  3. Know it in time to be able to take action
  4. Know what it might mean for your business

That is why one of the most effective and highly regarded services we provide for you is the ‘Future Alerts’ monthly Environmental Scanning report.

  • The Future Alerts service is a monthly subscription service that uses our contacts around the world to uncover emerging issues and opportunities BEFORE they become widely known.
  • Our Future Alerts service is customised to your specific requirements within and across your chosen Industry preferences
  • Our Future Alerts service combines advanced Environmental Scanning and combines analysis of each item to identify and suggest how an item might impact upon your industry and upon YOUR business. 
  • The Future Alerts service is a monthly billable program that can be cancelled or upgraded at any time giving you the flexibility to match your changing needs

Environmental Scanning is the process of looking beyond your normal sphere of operation to discover information that you don’t normally see and well ahead of when you might normally see it.  The Future Alerts report is customised and tailored to your organisation’s requirements and information preferences.  Our scanning uncovers new or emerging snippets of information that may in time, have a significant impact on your business and the way it does business.

For your organisation, the Future Alerts subscription service gives you one thing that you can never have too much of – time; the time to make more effective decisions and prepare your organisation for what may be coming down the pipeline at it!  Why read yesterday’s news when you can have ‘next year’s delivered each month?

Dramatically Enhanced Strategic Thinking: 

If your business is like many others, you are always on the look out to improve and develop your strategic thinking capabilities and decision making effectiveness.

If you rely on models of thinking that no longer generate the benefits they once did you’ll be happy to know that there is a way to boost those capabilities so critical to organisational success.  We’ll give you training in using of a variety of Strategic Foresight tools designed to improve your ability to identify the greatest areas of operational leverage in your marketplace.  One of the strongest tools we give you is the Accelerated Scenario process –

The Accelerated Scenarios process (ASp) is used to enable your organisation to understand the possible business space you will be faced with and to consider operational choices that will place you in the most advantageous position.  Many Scenario Planning methods still rely on models developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s that require people and financial resources on a Scenario Planning exercise for anywhere between half a year to 18 months.  By comparison the ASp is an advanced methodology

The ASp is about challenging and expanding your expectations and assumptions requires the face to face commitment of your senior management team for just a couple of days.  By ensuring that the critical scanning work is done up front BEFORE the management team come together, the management group gets to focus on just answering the critical organisational questions, rather than losing time generating the content that feeds a scenario process.  At the end of the face to face sessions, a comprehensive report is compiled that details the information that fed the session, the issues that were considered in depth and the resultant ‘robust strategies’ and operational choices that emerged.

The ASp is an exceptional process that has proven its value to Government and For-Profit organisations of all sizes right around the country:

Example 1:  A division of Federal Govt Department, that sought answers to what type of service offerings it would need to deliver in the future, discovered that their current focus (on a small and specific segment) was in higher demand outside of their typical target audience and required access to services not yet available

Example 2:  A major entertainment company that sought to test strategic options based on potential changes in its key customer base, identified significant support for its go to market positioning leading to a major investment alliance.

Example 3:  A division of a FMCG firm became aware that its existing strategy of supporting a stable product in a slowly declining (but profitable) market had failed to see the emergence of a totally new market segment worth millions.  It subsequently created a new product which it has successfully introduced to fill the niche.

The ASp is about helping you test your existing thinking against alternatives that may not be so clearly defined.  It is about helping you see through the current haze to identify emerging opportunities and increased areas of risks.  It is about giving you the opportunity to generate the type of strategic choices that leverage high quality understanding for ongoing commercial and operational benefits.  Call us today to find out whether this program can help you – Email Looking Up Feeling Good or 613 96 444 588

Values, Customers, Leadership and Management – Doing What Works, Very, Very Well

Our clients often tell us that they have two core business aims:
1.   To motivate employees in a superior way to maximise business effectiveness and
2.   To dramatically enhance customer relationships to increase profitability.

Their challenge is that many approaches suffer from severe inconsistencies – what works for one organisation is an utter failure for others.  What works for one manager doesn’t for others and as for motivating employees, if we could cater for individual and group preferences effectively, surely we’d be doing it, right?  Ah, unfortunately the answer is more often ‘no’.

So what is causing the confusion?  The problem is caused by customer and employee engagement models that do not allow for flexibility and change.  For some the situation is even worse because they are using the silver bullet approach – pinning all of their hopes on the latest management ‘tool’ fad.

We teach organisation to use the Value Systems model (also known as Spiral Dynamics ‘tm’).  You probably already know that the Value Systems model was the one used to help enable the dismantling of the apartheid regime in South Africa.  Or you’ve heard of the world cup winning team that used it for selecting its team members.  Maybe you’ve heard about it being used in the recruitment and education fields.  Or maybe this is the first time you’ve come across it.

Doing what works, very VERY well requires an exceptional , well tested, continually updated model – the Value Systems model.  Backed by decades of research and improvement the Value Systems model is not a ‘typology’ model.  It won’t put you or your staff or your customers in a nice neat box.  It’s a model that proves itself time and time again

What it does so elegantly is explain why things like demographics and ‘generation X Y Z’ type markers are fundamentally flawed.  Why ethnographic studies and biases based on where someone was born aren’t complete enough to guide your business to make effective management and leadership decisions.

The director of Looking Up Feeling Good Pty Ltd has been trained by the National Values Centre (Texas & Sante Fe) in the USA.  He is rated by the NVCC as one of the top 5 Value Systems specialist in Australasia.  He has introduced the Value Systems model to the Defence, Advertising, Recruitment, Finance, Education and Manufacturing sectors (among many others) and now consults to businesses on specific Value Systems applications around employee recruitment and motivation and to the advertising industry on campaign design and delivery.

What the Value Systems model will do for your business is help you tap into dramatically increased returns from your current and future employee pool.  What the Value Systems model will do for your marketing and sales teams is enable them to understand the very drivers that make or break customer relationships for your business.  And each of those areas will develop the clean, applicable and purpose driven way to get the results you want

Innovation Programs – Turning the Theory into Practical Application

Innovation is a buzz word.  Yet ‘Innovation’ seems to be a buzz word that goes beyond the hype because time and time again, Innovators capture market position and profits beyond the dreams of the average players in the market.

The key questions are – ‘How EXACTLY do you gain advantage through Innovation and how EXACTLY do you ‘do it’?’

Marcus Barber’s thoughts on innovation consistently appear in ‘Fast Thinking’, Australia’s leading Innovation magazine and recent winner of the business to business magazine of the year award.  He uses his skills and experience to design Innovation processes that meet the specific requirements of your business, just like the manufacturing client that realised what it thought it did was completely different from what the marketplace said it did and gained a new found lease on life as a result.  Like the education organisation that suddenly worked out what ‘Life Long Learning’ REALLY meant and what they could do as a result.  And we’ll help you answer the two key “HOW” questions so important to extracting value from Innovation

We have discovered that whilst organisations are good at talking about Innovation, far fewer understand the requirements for successfully developing a culture that embraces change – change for the better!

We offer a raft of choices for helping build your Innovative capacity.  From identifying potential and emerging innovation spaces, through to overcoming the barriers that prevent organisation’s from innovating successfully, we’ll work with you to help discover the inherent potential and unblock the pipelines to innovation success!

Call us to day on 613 96 444 588 or email us at Looking Up Feeling Good to find out how we can help

Beyond VUCA – the VUCA 2.0 concept

Jul 9, 2019

Most people who’ve been involved in planning and strategy development will have heard of VUCA – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. Emerging out of the US War College in 1987, it’s come to be more widely used by consultancies aiming to at least ‘sound smart’. But that’s not the main problem with its usage   Instead…

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Is Manufacturing Output Data a Reliable Indicator of Economic Activity

Mar 19, 2019

In short – ‘No’. In days of yore manufacturing data meant jobs being done, employed people being paid, sales being made. But with robotics and off-shoring in many parts of Australian manufacturing, it’s no longer the value indicator it once was.   In the US it is an even less reliable indicator because in the…

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The Drive to Make Futures Thinking Pragmatic

Mar 13, 2019

  I’ve writen a fair bit over the years about the need to move futures thinking out of a theoretical approach and into a more applied model.   Recently I’ve come off a 6 month project working with the Asian Productivity Organisation, an entity that brings together 20 member countries and their core government policy…

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Australia, We Are Killing Ourselves

Jan 28, 2019

Every where we look we are being given clear signs of the blatant stupidity and arguably outright criminality of a toxic system of decision making. The Menindee Lakes and Darling River disaster is one example   A couple of years ago I was invited to speak at a Private Equity conference at a lovely resort…

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2019 The International Year of the Cooperative

Dec 30, 2018

Every year I aim to identify what I think a major focus of the upcoming year will be and in that light I’m declaring 2019 the International Year of the Cooperative. I’m prompted by a multitude of signals that my daily research has uncovered, many of which will be familiar to you – Cost of…

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Can the United States Survive the Childish Tantrums of an Incompetent President?

Dec 23, 2018

Here we are with the last posting of the year looking at the potential for wide ranging strategy for a country like the United States. Arguably the United States is undergoing its own version of #Brexit though without the vote of the people. Instead the dictatorial nature of what I see as an incompetent strategic…

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When will the next Federal Election be held in Australia?

Dec 3, 2018

I’m reluctant to make predictions but am getting a few calls so: My tip is on a March 2019 election – the 9th or 16th But that will be an attempt to protect the existing NSW Government hoping that voters will have sufficiently vented. That said though, it also required a Federal Minoroty Government to…

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Asia on the Rise – why Australia’s Neighbours Will Leave us Behind

Oct 30, 2018

The Asian Productivity Organisation has shifted gears from being a centre for member countries to talk about productivity, to one that now wants to upskills its member countries. We’ve just completed the first chunk of helping National Productivity secretariats to ready their staff for a more proactive, future facing approach to their Country’s development  …

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10 years on from the Australia 2020 Futurists Summit

Oct 18, 2018

The question is, ‘how does the thinking inside this document stack up?’ Turns out, pretty good. What we spotted and what problems we said we’d have to watch out for, are just about spot on   When it was discovered that the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was going to hold the Australia 2020 Summit,…

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BBC Article on the Future of work and the likely skills needed

Oct 14, 2018

it’s OK not to know your career path when you leave university – sometimes that won’t emerge until much later down the track,” Barber says. “We should remind kids that the pathway they select to start off with is unlikely to be their final pathway,   Was interviewed by #TheodoraSutcliffe who wrote this article for…

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