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Future Leaders Programme for the Corporate Market

The Future Leaders programme is about Change and the Future, and focuses on

  • the changes  happening now, and what we can expect in the future;
  • the challenges arising from these changes – risks, threats and opportunities;
  • the choices and decisions to be made - global, local and individual.

The programme covers three main areas of learning: The Future and Change, Leadership, and People Management Skills.

Looking into the future, no-one can be certain what the world will be like in five, ten or twenty years time. However, research being done by universities, industry and governments throughout the world provides a wealth of knowledge about the challenges we will be facing and the choices and decisions we will have to make.

The Future Leaders Programme examines the predictions of people who have built a reputation for identifying important trends, recognising their implications, and making wise recommendations about how to survive and thrive in times of change. For example, here are predictions from four people who are well-respected for their contribution to science and technology.

  • Dr James Martin says: “Working towards sustainability is not enough; we need to be concerned with survivability”.
  • Professor Michio Kaku says: “Now we not only understand atoms – we can control them. We are therefore on the brink of being able to control our world”.
  • Dr Raymond Kurzweil says: “We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate)”.
  • Lord Martin Rees says: Our chances of surviving the 21st century are no better than 50/50”.

We may not accept or agree with the opinions of these four people, but it would be unwise to ignore them. The issues they raise are so important that our organisation has spent the past ten years researching their claims and creating a Knowledge Library for this programme.

The knowledge library provides material for workshops and an ongoing programme; to raise awareness and understanding about change and the future; to stimulate discussion and debate; to encourage a whole organisation to support change and become actively involved in solving real and important problems.

A Journey into the Future

Trans Global Express

The subject of change and the future is so broad and complex that many people either shy away from it or only focus on one or two aspects. To overcome this problem, the Future Leaders Programme uses the metaphor of setting off on a railway journey into the future.

The Drivers of Change – Science and Technology, the Economy, Government, Society and the issues of Sustainability – are the overhead cables which are powering the train into the future at an accelerating speed.

The carriages of the train represent the Key Trends – Demographic Change, the Knowledge Economy and Globalisation – which are carrying us along and shaping the future of our lives and the way we work.

Organisational Development 2

Organisation development provides the foundations for the tracks on which we are travelling into the future. These tracks and their foundations have to be modified and rebuilt over time to support ever faster trains.

This simple model starts to become more complex when we recognise that the trends and changes which are happening in our society do not occur in isolation – they are all interlinked and have an impact on each other. For example, any significant changes or developments in science and technology, or sustainability, or demographics, or the knowledge society, or globalisation are likely to have an effect on, or be affected by, the elements of politics, economics and society.

Politics Economics Society

When we go down to the next level of disaggregation and detail, we are confronted with thousands of different permutations of cause and effect. Consequently, in order to really understand what is happening and make well-informed decisions, we need to draw upon what James Suroweicki terms “the wisdom of crowds”.

Web 2.0 and the next generation of telecommunications systems give us the means to manage and communicate the vast amounts of complex and fast-changing information which is needed to understand what is happening and to plan appropriate action.

The FLP Knowledge Library

The Future Leaders Programme brings order to this complexity through the creation of an on-line knowledge library which enables FLP’s community of participants to share and grow their knowledge in a truly collaborative way. The knowledge library software makes it possible to capture, process and give access to vast amounts of interlinked information about change and the future.

Leadership

Leadership development is now recognised by many UK and US employers to be the number one training priority . This fact is revealed in surveys carried out separately by Henley Business School, the Institute of Directors in the UK and Deloittes in the USA.

The Future Leaders Programme supports the view put forward by Professor David Day and others in the book ”An Integrative Approach to Leaders Development” that the world needs more and better leaders, and that everyone (or nearly everyone) in any role or position can be developed to become a more effective leader through the process of leadership development. Leadership development is included explicitly in all the programme activities, and leadership qualities are continuously assessed as part of the programme.

Programme Structure, Content and Development

For each cohort of participants, the programme begins with two workshops. The first workshop introduces them to the purpose and the aims of the programme, the issues of change and the future, and the benefits they will gain by taking part in the programme. In the second workshop they work in teams on a case study which introduces them to the real-life issues with which they will be dealing on the programme.

Participants use the Knowledge Library as a tool for research, and learn how the work that they and their colleagues do in the programme can be added to the sum of knowledge held in the library. They are introduced to other software tools and systems which can be used for collaborative working, presentations, knowledge development and publishing. They also have access to a selection of online e-learning programmes on the subject of key skills, which they can use to accelerate their learning and test their understanding.

Extending  the Future Leaders Programme

The programme can be cascaded down through the organisation by training managers and facilitators to organise and run workshops to introduce their own staff to the programme. Training is also provided to those who are given the responsibility to revise and update the organisation’s own FLP knowledge library.

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