My workshops are short-term learning experiences that encourages active experiential learning by using a variety of learning activities. Most can be customized to participants busy schedules, with versions ranging from a half-day, full-day, or two days. (More details of each below)
Even the best run organizations can get into trouble by not paying attention to the future and relying on products and services at odds with emerging trends — whether gas-guzzling SUVs, sub-prime loans to debt-ridden consumers, or even film-based photography in the digital era – they all caught up short because what has worked well yesterday may not necessarily work well tomorrow. Employing a foresight perspective can help individuals and organizations anticipate and prepare for the future in a way that identifies and avoids risks and uncovers a wide-range of potential opportunities.
This workshop delivers concrete, practical suggestions on how applying foresight can help position your organization for success in the future. It is based on Thinking about the Future: Guidelines for Strategic Foresight, a book edited by the workshop leader that draws upon the collective wisdom of three dozen foresight professionals. Participants will learn about a framework for organizing foresight based on the six principal activities of strategic foresight:
- Framing: identifying the problems clearly and understanding their cost as well as the cost of solutions
- Scanning: understanding what’s going on out there; the relevant information and trends
- Forecasting: considering a range of future possibilities; plugging into a meaningful view (pictures) of the future
- Visioning: deciding what the organization wants to be in the future and determining if the organization is working forward or avoiding it.
- Planning: creating a pathway to the future
- Acting: translating foresight into real action on an ongoing basis
In this hand-on workshop, participants learn by doing. We will go through the six activities and practice with an example topic. Participants will learn a variety of ways that they themselves can apply the foresight guidelines to bring practical benefits to their organization in the years ahead.
Scenarios are an essential part of any foresight toolbox. Scenarios are data-based stories about plausible futures. They are a powerful way to build understanding of possible futures, spark dialogue, and create change. Although scenario planning has become increasingly mainstream, it has also become increasingly stale. This workshop shares ideas for reinvigorating this powerful tool, such as:
- Using technology to get the right people involved at the right time, for the right amount of time
- Customizing the technique based on what the data reveals
- Maximizing the productivity of scenario planning sessions
- Communicating and tracking scenario results to get and keep attention
This hands-on approach will teach participants the essentials of how to set up and run a scenario planning project.
For individual participants, the objectives are to:
- Understand the fundamental concepts and tools of scenario planning
- Understand the key steps and processes involved in a scenario planning project
- Become familiar with several techniques for doing scenario planning
- See how scenario planning can help identify and respond to threats or provide opportunities for the organization
For the organization, the objectives are:
- To help the organization build its internal capacity for scenario planning, using proven tools and techniques that may be applied to diverse business needs now and in the future
Help your organization to anticipate the future and take action in the present by learning this updated scenario approach.
This hands-on workshop is an overview of how to do exploration for new business and new product development. Exploration involves the process of coming up with new ideas on both new growth areas and specific new business ideas for the organization. The course is intended to cultivate and expand the “explorers” mindset, skill set and tool set for doing new business exploration. It covers a wide range of best practices that have been distilled into a format that guides one from the beginning to the end of the exploration process. The delivery method will be a combination of lecture, discussion and exercises. Participants are encouraged to bring a “real world” new business exploration problem with them to work on.
The course will teach participants the essentials of how to set up and run a new business or new product exploration project.
For individual participants, our objective will be:
- to understand and cultivate the exploration mindset, skill set, and tool set for identifying, shaping, and communicating new product and new business opportunities
For the organization, our objective will be:
- to help build its internal capacity for exploration for new business and product development, using proven tools and techniques that may be applied to diverse business needs now and in the future
We will learn by doing. Participants will be asked to come equipped with their laptop and a topic area they would like to explore.
This hands-on, one-day workshop will teach participants how to do environmental scanning, that is, the identification of potential signals of change in the external environment that could impact the organization. These scanning hits are clustered into trends or issues. The idea is to identify them as early as possible in order to give the organization the maximum amount of time to either deal with the threat or exploit the opportunity.
The course will teach participants how to set up and run a system in their organization in several modules: phases:
- Developing the mindset of scanning
- Where and how do we look for scanning hits
- Tools for evaluating which hits to pay attention to
- Developing an ongoing system
- Alternative approaches
Example outcomes from scanning systems will be described and analyzed. It is recommended that participants come equipped with their laptop and a topic area that they would like to learn more about.
What do you need to think about to create or build a futures function inside today’s organization? The session goes through a 10 question issue audit for future practitioners and management to discuss and answer. Strategies for moving forward will then be crafted. Participants will come away with a clear set of the issues in implementing foresight within their organization and a plan for dealing with them.