The Friday Lab

Futures Education

The curious thing about today’s fast moving, information-rich hyperkinetic organisations is the paradox of what organisations say and know, and what they do. For the most part, modern organisations recognise that in order to avert ‘future shocks’ (and to remain viable) they must become more infinitely adaptable and capable than ever before. And yet despite this insight and the acceleration of knowledge acquisition, the way we do things and the learning and development we value remain wedded to the past (think strategic and workforce planning approaches that have varied little in application over the past 50 years or learning and development programs that equip learners with skills to solve yesterday's challenges).    

As Einstein elegantly notes “The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” In a society in which change is constant, new organisational pedagogy is required. We need to design organisational processes and build workforce capacity that is in line with our modern realities. We need to learn how to challenge old ideas, and know how and when to replace them, to better navigate complexity, to classify and reclassify information and evaluate its veracity, to move from the concrete and the abstract, to challenge the grammar of what is possible, to question our assumptions and to examine problems from new vantage points.

We draw on futures thinking, foresight, design and a range of other methodologies that help us to learn, unlearn and relearn - a powerful new dimension to any strategic decision-making process. Implicit in this approach is the critical importance of change-readiness and future-savviness as working traits for today’s organisations.

We create bespoke training programs, workshops and learning materials across the full stack of strategic foresight, business and workforce strategy, design thinking and innovation. We've listed some of the more common programs we provide below. However, we also tailor programs according to the organisational requirements. 

WORKSHOPS

 - Environmental Scanning fundamentals -  scanning for the intelligence of tomorrow to make better decisions today. (A more advanced program is also available). 

- An introduction to strategic foresight tools and methods, and how it can be used to make more informed strategic and business decisions in the present.

- Strategic thinking for better business and workforce strategy decisions.

- Scenario thinking and planning - managing the interplay between where we are today and our preferred future tomorrow.

- Visioning and values - creating compelling visions of the future.

- Designing organisations systems, processes and culture including the use of The Friday Labs' 'affective context model' for organisational development and change.

- Workforce strategy - designing tomorrow's workforce today.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS

We've all been through personal and professional development programs in our lifetime. Most of which are superficial, resulting in little personal change beyond the post-workshop ‘hour of inspiration’. Humans are complex beings with an increasingly complex tapestry of talents, knowledge and experiences. Enacting personal change requires a more systemic approach to personal development.

It’s ‘what happens come Monday’ that matters most to us.

In designing Personal Futures development programs and workshops, we draw on foresight principles and methods to deliver more integrated personal and professional development workshops. We scale and contextualise the futures methods used at the organisational level (think scenarios, visioning and strategic planning), to suit an individual process. Expect to be surprised at how much you can know about your own future, beyond the superficial personal development processes.

The Personal Futures workshops introduce you to a range of processes and concepts that will help you to think and plan like a futurist to develop your personal vision of the future, strategies to achieve your vision and how you can scan your own environment for change. But perhaps most importantly, these workshops help to identify and understand the 'inner' stories that hold us back or prevent us from reaching our preferred futures - What are our hidden stories? What is our current metaphor for how we see ourselves? How does this manifest in behaviour? How do we align our inner stories with our outward expressions and actions? In fact, we think the 'inner work' in this process is the most critical part in enacting personal change – that’s what sets these workshops apart from the typical superficial professional development processes.

While we go about attending short courses, networking and identifying our strengths and weaknesses etc., we often lack the deeper alignment to the inner story. Our Personal Futures workshops aim to better align the inner and outer worlds, drawing on the tools and methods used by futurists.

Depending on the context Personal Futures workshops can range from two hours to a full day and can be tailored for a broad range of audiences from primary school-aged children to CEO’s.