The Outsider’s view of the Inside Futures
As a consultant, one of the great puzzles I consistently discover is the mindset many clients hold with regard to their own abilities to conceive of and pursue, their own approach to futures thinking. I know this is not an issues restricted to futurists as where some clients have a ‘not invented here’ approach to rejecting ideas, many others hold the ‘can’t invent it here’ view of their own capabilities. And that means that
a lot of my time working with clients is invested in showing them how much they do know and that they should have confidence to be able to do much (if not all) of their chosen activities without outside intervention.
In writing for the innovation magazine Fast Thinking a few years ago I took the same approach with the idea of innovation generation and processes – suggesting that in all likelihood, most organisations DO HAVE the skills they need to run their own innovation programs without outside intervention. A fellow writer and innovation consultant took me to task in the subsequent issue saying that wasn’t true.
On a strong personal note, I believe in ‘skills transfer’ – the idea that with a little bit of guidance and an effective model, the client organisation ought to be able to do their own futures work once I have left. I’ll always be available should they feel they prefer some outside assistance BUT overwhelmingly my aim is to provide them with a platform that gives them confidence to be able to do a thoroughly good job.
Which brings us to the Insider’s Approach to Futures:
a) You do have the skills
b) You may need a process or two to run with
c) An Outsider should be used to help with momentum for a futures project, not to develop ownership of it
d) Appreciate that timing matters – some people will get on board earlier than others and as such, the kinds of conversations that you have with people may seem repetitive to you, but will be likely new to them. So keep having them
I’ve worked with a lot of different clients – Large Corporate, Large Goverment; small businesses; Not for Profits; international, local; and everything in between. I am yet to experience a ‘dumb client’. Quite the contrary – almost every client I’ve worked with has held high levels of intellectual capacity. The one element missing is a model that helps them expand their Breadth of awareness; the Depth of information and the Distance of the forward view. Once they have that model, the pathways toward their desired futures are many and often clearer than they were.
The Outsider’s view of Inside Futures then is that you probably do have the skills you need. A good process will help bring that all together into an effective package
I flag my bias towards the need for a vastly improved approach to managing staff in the work environments. V A S T L Y improved. I’m still surprised at how clunky, disorganised or naive some senior managers are when it comes to that part of the business that considers ‘people’. And rather than cover…Read More >
An interesting public workshop in Perth in the first week of October introducing a varied group to the Organisational Evolution model. The Org-Ev is the model I developed for the start up of The Australian Strategic Planning Institute in conjunction with Steven Bowman. Given the diversity of the group, there were a number of surprises…Read More >
A note for those of you in Perth that there are just 4 spaces left for the Introduction to the Organisational Evolution Model workshop at Adina Apartments in Perth. The Org Ev model has been designed to enhance Strategic Planning and decision making and this introductory workshop is aimed at those looking to attend the…Read More >
Later this month I’ll be facilitating a scenario session looking at the potential impact of a long standing heatwave event for the City of Greater Dandenong here in Australia. Heatwaves kill more people than any other weather event. By a long way. Importantly they also have a ‘fat tail’ with physical impairments to individuals often…Read More >
Looking Up Feeling Good will be running an workshop on the Organisational Evolution Model in Perth. The Org-Ev model has been used by a wide number of agencies across almost all industry sectors, and was originally developed for the Australian Strategic Planning Institute. The workshop is limited to 25 people and will take place at…Read More >
If you’re involved with setting policy, allocating funding, designing products or services and delivering on them, then one book you simply must have read is the absolutely astounding ‘Invisible Women’ by Caroline Criado Perez. What Perez has done with this book is ALL OF THE RESEARCH you need to have available to you when you…Read More >
Are we there yet? Have people finally cottoned on to the idea that maybe, things aren’t going so well for the planet and our place in it? Storms, up; floods, up; fires, up; droughts, up; people being displaced by climate events, up. The signals are all around us. And yet, as a species we struggle…Read More >
One of the most challenges aspects for owners of businesses, and also for Boards charged with running businesses, is how to allow for the impact of a decision to unfold over time. Many listed company Boards will be delaying with a CEO on a limited tenure. The Board will have set expectations for performance and…Read More >
Local Governments in Australia face an emerging risk space that many seem unaware of. Brought on by rising costs, especially in business premises rentals, compliance needs and registration costs, research we’ve identified as part of work with a Local Government client is indicating a significant increase in businesses popping up in residential areas. What seems…Read More >