The Thinking Futures story
One day in late 1998, the Vice-Chancellor of Swinburne University called me to his office – an invitation that always comes with both interest and fear! I was told my job in the Higher Education Division no longer existed but I was now to run the re-structured University Planning Unit.
Oh, he said, and we want you to do foresight.
In my head, I thought ‘what on earth is foresight?’ Not the word but its connection with planning and strategy. As one does, I said ‘of course’ and headed back to my office and looked it up on google. Although I didn’t know it at the time, that was the start of my foresight journey.
I continued to work at integrating foresight in university strategy processes at Swinburne and enrolled in the Masters of Strategic Foresight offered there, initially to just get a feel for the feel but after the first subject, I had to continue.
It was only when a new Vice-Chancellor arrived at Swinburne and didn’t want to use foresight that I realised foresight had become part of who I was. I couldn’t work anywhere where I couldn’t use foresight. So I left and headed to a much more open and foresight friendly Victoria University and I will always be grateful to their open door. After three years there I recognised that the balancing the use of foresight with other tasks like quality audits, government reporting and student surveying was making it impossible for my attempts to demonstrate the value of foresight to have any meaningful impact.
In 2007 I set up Thinking Futures while transitioning out of Victoria University with their support. I was very fortunate indeed to have worked at VU with such open minded people who innately recognised the value of foresight.
In 2008, I moved into the foresight world full-time. Since then my commitment to the field has grown each year and I work now to spread the word about the value of using foresight in organisations today and help people think in new ways about the future.
Thinking Futures today
The people I work with are ready to move beyond status quo thinking, who recognise that conventional strategy processes just aren’t enough anymore. They are ready to spend the time and energy to reframe conventional strategy approaches by using foresight in their organisation.
If you know the importance of thinking about the future of your organisation in new ways, if you have had the expert consultant in to talk about the future but nothing changed, if you have run a foresight process but nothing changed, you need foresight.
My aim is to make it possible for you to consider your future on a continuing basis without expensive consultants, without imposed generic frameworks and ‘the solution’, and without being told what’s important to think about.
I start not with process but with people. I start by respecting your knowledge, expertise and experience. I provide resources, research and training for people to use when they need it so they can build their capacity to think about the future beyond the status quo. I then help them work together to design foresight processes that work for their organisation in their context, focused on their strategic issues.
The result? A longer term perspective to underpin your strategy development and to identify futures ready action to take today. Strategy customised for your organisation built your your people. People who are not stuck in the busyness of today and who can identify what’s important, what really matters to guide decision making. A organisation that is facing the future, not trapped in today.
My services are practical, professional and personalised. Explore:
Developed by Evolution7, the Thinking Futures logo is about challenging perspective and perception.
The dual cube illusion ‘pops’ in and out, symbolising the need to recognise there are often many perspectives to an issue, and that we need to take the time to stop and consider how those perspectives drive our thinking.
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