Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists

Latest Events & News

From time to time we'll keep you posted about up and coming workshops, presentations and media appearances


Two Years on - Planning never ends
Thursday 31 March 2022
One of the great challenges with running any organisation is keeping it on track. Strateic Planning is not about fixed methods - it's about a focus on outcomes
High Risk Play for Australian Retailers Opening in a Covid19 Constrained Environment
Monday 11 October 2021
Interesting emerging dynamic about to land on the shop fronts of Australian retailers that pose serious risks to their staff. And few retailers are ready
Why Climate Change Intervention is WAY Easier than We Think
Tuesday 7 September 2021
You'll have seen, heard or read some of my thoughts on the lab grown proteins from firms like #ImpossibleFoods or #BeyondMeat. Now the food we eat is a direct climate change contributor and for anyone in those sectors, you need to play for the change that is most definitely coming
If Covid was a Car Accident - How to explain the Pandemic to people who find it hard to believe
Thursday 19 August 2021
Trying to understand something you've never experienced before can be a real challenge. In this post the #Covid19 #pandemic is explained using cars and traveling
Sports, Recreation and Active Living Start up fuding in Victoria
Tuesday 3 August 2021
If you have an idea for a sports, recreation, or active living business, this start up program should be ideal. You did need to be in Victoria, Australia
The next 3 months to the next 3 years - what's in store?
Tuesday 16 March 2021
More relevant to the Australian audience, the question was posed: 'what should Australian's expect to see happening across the next three months to the next three years?
Commercial Property Managers in for a Shock
Sunday 31 January 2021
Whilst Commercial Property owners in CBDs are about to discover a Shift in Perspectives in experiencing what Many have Never Before: Price Taking, local cafes and shops in the suburbs will reap a windfall as workers stay home.
The Mechanical, Psychological, and Biological Interventions of a Pandemic
Monday 19 October 2020
Pandemics are not easy. And when we let them get out of the bag as we have with this one, it gets bad, quickly. As Ireland announces a massive new lockdown, UK stumbles along and other parts of Europe scramble, the three areas of intervention become increasingly difficult to coordinate.
Going into Lock-Down is Not Your Fault - it's 'OURS"
Thursday 2 July 2020
A thought on the 'Why should I be in lock-down in my suburb, it's not fair that we have to do it and no one else has to, my hair's a mess; I need to sell coffees; pizza' crowd - an explanation you might appreciate
The 3rd Tier Impact of Covid - China's Gift
Tuesday 10 March 2020
In Strategic Futures thinking the aim is to get ahead of the curve to better inform Strategic Planning. The current Virus could well trigger the collapse of Office Space demand in city centres, once and for all
Lessons on Pandemics
Saturday 29 February 2020
Strategic PLans are about thinking ahead of the game on your way to a desired destination. And there's all sorts of ways you can learn to do them better. This article discusses the 2017 Influenza outbreak. Nicknamed the Spanish flu, it actually started in the USA
China's Gift has a Fat Tail
Wednesday 12 February 2020
Potential Impacts of the Carona Virus will cascade across the globe. With deaths on track to climb quickly now that it has reached epidemic proportions of infection, the fat tail extends to the corporate sector...
Understanding the 'Disadvantage' of the Disadvantaged Job Seeker
Wednesday 11 September 2019
Strategic Planning ought N E V E R be about a simple reiteration of doing the same as last year. It requires both foresight and hindsight to gain insight. In this document I take a look at the area of Disadvantaged Job Seekers and the Barriers to Employment they face
Employee Engagement Beyond the Workplace
Wednesday 31 July 2019
My most recent long term client contract had me specialise in Employee Engagement, something I'd done consistently at the Senior and Middle Managers level. But this client need was across the board.
PLanning for a Middle Path
Sunday 23 December 2018
Sometimes there is need for deliberate and perhaps provocative action. That action can be a shift toward more human centric ideals or away from it. It might be more momentum of a current trajectory or a significant pull back from it. And sometimes there is aneed for a way that can ease it's way through both demands
Societal Strategic Planning
Tuesday 17 July 2018
Sometimes we need ways to assess 'where we are at' as part of our strategy development and planning process. In fact, we may need a good reality check to our thinking to help us remove our blinkers and expose some of our blind spots. Looking outside to other sources of information can be extremely valuable here and this clip is a wonderful example of how an alternative reality can be presented.
Tackling Bias to improve decision making
Saturday 19 May 2018
McKinsey's interview with Richard Thaler on 'debiasing the corporation' is a really good one. I've spent the best part of two decades trying to help organisations unpack their biases through the use of foresight. I recommend this article to you
Futures Thinking and the Planning for National Productivity
Thursday 8 March 2018
Great week co-facilitating a Strategic Foresight Workshop, and Establishing a Foresight Unit module for the @AsiaProductivityOrganisation here in Tokyo
Strategic Planning for the Future of Insurance
Wednesday 28 February 2018
One of the most 'futures' orientated industries in the world is the Insurance sector. Few sectors have such a deliberate and ongoing look at emerging issues the way the Insurance Sector does, with perhaps only the high end security sector paying more attention on a daily basis. Last week I conducted an advanced Strategic Planning Session with Resilium Insurance looking at emerging customer issues and challenges
Sometimes in Strategic Planning, You Have to Swing Hard
Monday 15 January 2018
You find yourself back in the Strategic Planning Cycle Phase; You sense many issues are ones you tried to tackle last year; Not as much progress has been made as you thought. So what to do? It's time to swing for a home run
Futurist Marcus Barber on Jobs of the Future
Sunday 3 December 2017
Right now there's lots of noise about jobs being automated. It's mostly a fair assessment even if a bit tech central. But the issue is - where will the new job functions come from?
How Much Effort Should You Put Into Your Future?
Tuesday 31 October 2017
The Centre for Australian Foresight have just posted up a short piece on the Three ways to Approach the Future. Here at TASPI we'd encourage the 3rd approach but we know that for many, the first or second methods are equally valid.
The Changing Face of Workplaces and Workplace Design
Friday 1 September 2017
From where I sit, McKinsey & Company by and large tend to play catch-up to issues of the day. It's not to say that some of their articles aren't interesting or occasionally useful, more that they're often late to the party and a bit old school. On occasions they're rewording old news to make it seem fresh and orginal. This collection on the future of work is one of their better offerings
Should Your Strategic Planning Consider Digital Currencies and the 'BlockChain'?
Tuesday 29 August 2017
If you are running a Risk Register or actively conducting Environmental Scanning, you're probably already aware of the rise of Digital Currencies. There's some great benefits among all the hype and yes there are risks. Perhaps the single most underrated element of the promise is the inability for any one or a handful of players to manipulate or 'game' the system. The keys to note are:
Australian Food Labeling Finally Catches Up to a New Reality
Tuesday 2 May 2017
The Australian Federal Government has thankfully introduced new Food Labeling Laws. As the link below shows, it looks exactly the same as the model that Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber developed and put out to the wider public back in the Year 2000 even before he'd gone full-time with his futures consulting. You can find the full story in the link below:
Apparently Tackling Climate Change Can Turn a Tidy Profit
Sunday 11 December 2016
Who knew? Quite a few as it turns out - see which company names you recognise
Developing a Personal Strategic Plan - Skills for a Future Career
Wednesday 26 October 2016
Whilst we know 'Getting Your Future Right' is a book that helps you do that, there's other ways that can be helpful for planning your future. In the clip I talk to secondary school kids about a framework I devised to help them considered the kind of capabilities they will need in the future careers and life. I've called it a C.A.P.A.B.L.E Future
One Step from Disaster; Two Steps From Brilliance - Outcome Based Planning
Thursday 20 October 2016
About to speak at @LGPro Corporate Planners conference in Melbourne where I'll chat about Outcomes Based Decision Making
The Four Phases of Thinking
Thursday 14 July 2016
Over at Looking Up feeling Good a short piece on using the Four Phases of Thinking effectively has been posted up. Specifically with the aim to ensure Adaptability, Resilience and Sustainability to your organisation
The Best Laid Plans of Mice & Men, sometimes are not enough!
Wednesday 22 June 2016
(Thanks Robbie Burns). You've thought hard, you've planned well, you've written the plan up, everyone is on board, and you've started. And then things run aground. In the shock of a sudden impasse the questions that will often emerge during the crisis are 'how?' and How did we get this wrong? and What happened? And you know what, sometimes you just get shocks that you have to deal with. The challenge is How do you deal with it?
It's Not You, It's Me - if Strategic Plans Could Talk
Wednesday 6 April 2016
Contrary to a more popular belief, my experience working with organisations of all sizes and industry sectors is that most do in fact put in considerable effort to their Strategic Planning. The People Resources are usually adequate, time is stretched but sufficient, and for most, serious thinking has been undertaken. Given that starting position, why is it that the majority of those same organisations feel their Strategic Planning efforts produce unsatisfactory results? The answer is pretty straight forward - the model they use for putting the Strategic Plan together is literally, not worth the paper it is written on
Allocating Resources - Avoiding the Traps
Sunday 31 January 2016
Strategic Planning ought to be a systemic approach - very much an ongoing, dynamic and fluid form of organisational guidance. Too often the models still be used (and in some cases recently 'rebadged as new') are static, linear and one-shot approaches that WILL NOT HELP you. One challenge is how you allocate resources to your business units. Doing that well, starts with
Avoid the Iceberg - why some metaphors just don't help
Tuesday 18 August 2015
If you've been to a few training programs in your day there is a fair chance you've seen the 'Iceberg' image used in an attempt to explain something along the lines of 'how much goes unseen compared to how much we see'. It's used so often that it's almost a cliche. It's also fundamentally WRONG
Avoiding the Drift - how to Avoid Slipping off Target
Sunday 31 May 2015
Organisations of all sizes are faced with the potential loss of energy, focus, resources and purpose. In the end, this 'drift' will overwhelm an organisation's ability to deliver any meaningful result. And yet as we consistently show here at TASPI, it's a pretty easy problem to fix.
Biggest Trap for Senior Managers Impacts around 80% of all Companies
Tuesday 12 May 2015
If there is one thing our experience working with organisations of all types and sizes has taught us, it is this: Senior Managers love results. Especially positive ones. And yet our experience also highlights a glaring Irony - in the absence of positive results, most senior managers would prefer the exact opposite - BAD results. And the reason? Bad results mean 'action' and a challenge to test senior manager brain power in the cut and thrust of running an organisation
Accountability is Ongoing in effective Strategic Plans
Tuesday 14 April 2015
One of the three main weaknesses in Strategic Planning inside organisations is an insufficient level of Accountability to the stated intentions of the strategic plan. And the main cause is the 'project gates' approach used to track progress. But you can overcome that weakness. If you truly want to
Four Phases toward execution of Strategy
Wednesday 28 January 2015
Inside our workshop I discuss the challenge that businesses face when considering how to execute 'strategy'. A common trap is the habit of believing that the same type of thinking that generates the ideas, is also what is required to execute them. But in fact there's four core stages that require their own approach to thinking in order for you to be successful. Miss any one of them and the chances of you executing well are pretty slim
Another example of 'LeapFrogging' - the rise of the Utilisation Economy
Wednesday 17 December 2014
The core function of Strategic Planning is to set a direction for your organisation and map for utilisation of your resources. Part of that process MUST include a thorough assessment of the products or services that may present risks or opportunities to your business. And as groups like Uber & Lyft also suggest - paying attention to leap frogging processes might be equally useful
Cattle, Coal and Copper. Why old markets are vulnerable to leapfrogging technology
Saturday 8 November 2014
The essence of Strategic Planning is to identify a desired future outcome for your organisation and then establish how you plan to arrive there in the time frame you've indicated. But in working with all sorts of organisations, I can assure you that one of the most difficult thinking problems is giving up on the reliance on old ways of doing things, even when the signs say that change is coming. The example I'll use here is the fading lights of Cattle, Coal and Copper
How would the Office of Court Jester influence your Strategic Plan?
Sunday 26 October 2014
Strategic Plans aim to provide a guide book of sorts to assist your planning. To a larger extent they provide a road map of intended actions and desired outcomes. But what happens if you find yourself getting stale and flat? That's where the role of the Court Jester can be so helpful
The Hand Off - How to enable better Decision Making in Your Organisation
Tuesday 23 September 2014
One of the most frustrating aspects of large organisations is the inability to transit from a decision to an action in a way that reflects both the needs of the business and it's capabilities. Too often there is an assumption from a Leadership Team that presupposes their decisions are in fact, executable. The reality is often very different
Leading with one hand tied behind Your back!
Monday 4 August 2014
Here's a not so secret, secret of businesses and organisations - we operate in a world of constraints. In fact the constraints are so real, that many in leadership positions feel as if they have one arm tied behind their backs. If that sounds like you, then the article below should offer some respite. If you've attended one of our public programs you'll also get a refresher on what needs to happen!
Fixing the 'not quite strategic' Strategic Plan
Sunday 25 May 2014
I was sent a link to a recently released Strategic Plan of a national sporting body and a simple request was identified which was: 'What do you think - is this any good?' Upon reading the Strategic Plan my initial thoughts were 'it's almost good'. But the problem with the almost good is that the parts where it is not good, means the Strategic Plan as offered, is far from strategic. Which has led me to write this offering - How do you fix the 'not quite strategic' Strategic Plan?
Using Scenario Planning for Risk Management - AirBNB's approach
Sunday 23 March 2014
I'm often asked how Scenario Planning and Strategic Planning tie together. The simple answer is that Strategic Planning is about your intentions - the way you will reach the destination you have established for your organisation. But Scenario Planning is about thinking more deeply about the way in which the futures may evolve. In other words, trying to work out the variety of future environments you might need to deal with before you get to where you're going. To that end then, Scenarios enable you to more effectively identify and test your assumptions about the future. And that means dealing with risk
Can you Strategic Plan for your kids' future careers?
Monday 17 March 2014
Maybe. You can at the very least help them to develop the basic skills that will be required, and no, 'remembering facts' is not one of them. When it comes to risk management there are some steps that you can take, nay 'must' take to maximise the chances your children have for a fulfilling career. I was interviewed for this article earlier last year, and with discussions about robotics and employment a common theme this past week, thought I'd report it here for you
When an Organisational Vision becomes a Statement of Delusion
Sunday 2 March 2014
If you've been to a TASPI workshop you already know the background, so skip to the next paragraph. For over a decade I worked with organisations in for profit, not for profit and government sectors. I've advised organisations in Europe, North America, Asia and beyond. Some organisations have been multi nationals, long standing, privately owned, publicly held, socially aware, profit focused and more. I've managed million dollar portfolios and client accounts of just one. I've been engaged for a mere hour up to projects lasting a number of years. And of all areas of operation, I've discovered just one area that connects all organisational types - the Organisation's Vision
What's your Vision for the Year of the Horse?
Monday 13 January 2014
There's lots of ways you can go about planning for your future, plenty of signs and clues you can consider, and many a worthwhile target for yourself as an individual or organisation to aim for. In a couple of weeks the Chinese calendar kicks over to the Year of the Horse. And not just any horse, we're talking the Wooden Horse. Which suggests that
Avoiding the 'Vision as Rut' problem
Tuesday 26 November 2013
You don't have to look far in any book store or online marketplace to find authors who tell you the importance of 'having a Vision' for your personal life or for your company. And yet even when you DO find those organisations that have identified and articulated their ultimate driving goal, you'll find that the large majority of them still seem to be spinning their wheels as it were. They sure look busy, but do not seem to be making any headway. And the reason is, they're stuck in a rut BECAUSE of the very Vision they hold onto.
Preparing for the Upswing
Monday 30 September 2013
The TASPI model clearly define the four different thinking phases that are required for an effective and dynamic planning and execution development. One of the stages in the STRATEGIC phase is identification of Strategic Issues - those things that an organisation must deal with in order to be able to move toward their Vision. In discussing with organisations over the past 6 months their core issues, right now it appears that one Strategic Issue just isn't on the radar of Board or Executives - preparing for the Upswing
Assessing the Resources challenge for taking action
Thursday 15 August 2013
Consistently in our workshops and in private programs, the issue of 'lack of available resources' is raised as a reason for inaction or poorly executed action that an organisation needs to undertake. However when respectfully challenging that perspective through a series of questions, what is unpacked is the difference between an organisation owning a resource and being able to access a resource. This assumption appears in Government, for profit and not for profit entities we have worked with. It appears across industry sectors and it appears across organisation sizes. And for most part, not only is this assumption incredibly limiting for a strategy setting perspective, it is based on a falsehood.
How a lack of focus drains your ability to respond
Wednesday 17 July 2013
If you've been through a TASPI workshop you'll know how much attention we place on the idea of a well articulated and conceived Organisational Vision. Our experience working with clients of al sizes and across industries has proven how damaging a lack of focus (represented by the 'Where we want to get to Vision') can be for achieving results. The Organisational Evolution model shows how things can be aligned. Thanksfully, we're not alone in considering the issue and identifying the damage. In this Slideshare by Dr Jim Bohn, he
How do you plan for Disruptions to your industry?
Monday 27 May 2013
The TASPI Strategic PLanning approach is about flexibility and adaptability. And sometimes, even the best laid plans will go awry. Right now there are many industries facing a changing world. Two of those are the Manufacturing sector and the Trucking Industry. Rather than go into too much detail on this page, allow me to point you to two places where the ideas are discussed
Overcoming the Perfection Trap in Strategic Planning
Monday 13 May 2013
Plenty of organisations that have been through our workshops start with an understanding that Strategic Planning is a long arduous process, that Strategic Planning takes up a lot of Organisations resources; and that Strategic Plans are essentially ignored. By the time they've finished our workshop there's no doubt that their view has changed. One huge barrier is this idea of the need to have a 'Perfect Plan'
How do you Strategic Plan for Technologies with long shelf life?
Tuesday 9 April 2013
The approach ought not be vastly different from how you plan for every day operational issues save for one additional area of focus: 'What will we need to have in play to handle any redundancies?' When it comes to the Australian Opposition's Broadband Plan, the ability to think ahead is paramount. It's really not too different from considering long term infrastructure assets like a bridge across a river or a piece of expensive military hardware.
Advanced Strategic Planning program in the Philippines
Tuesday 26 March 2013
TASPI founder Marcus Barber has been asked to facilitate an intensive two day program in the Philippines in July. The format provides more depth and exploration across additional material normally covered in the Advanced Strategic Planning one day workshops. If you're going to be in the Philippines at the start of July, or working nearby, this intensive program could be just what you're looking for. The event is
TASPI is Taking a Swing for Charity
Sunday 24 February 2013
The City of Greater Dandenong's South East Business Networks department is once again conducting its annual 'Take A Swing For Charity' event at the Sandhurst Golf Club. This year TASPI has donated an inhouse Strategic Planning session valued at $3900 for an auction item and we're hoping that it helps raise some funds for the Madcap on Mason project in Dandenong.
Strategic Issues facing the Manufacturing Sector
Sunday 3 February 2013
The TASPI Strategic Planning model has four phases which cover ten elements. At the Strategic level phase organisations (and individuals) need to identify the barriers or challenges that require their attention and then allocate resources accordingly. For the Manufacturing sector the shifting state of play has moved on from outsourcing to lower (labour) cost areas and now the main issue is the rise of low cost competitors. This process is a natural state of play where in the initial phase of outsourcing production leads to increased skills within the overseas country. Which then leads
A new Calendar year underway, how's your Strategic Plan tracking?
Tuesday 22 January 2013
It's easy to get distracted at this time of year what with many people on holidays, the New Year on the 1st of Jan or 10th of Feb depending on your preferred calendar, or the upcoming back to school time frame. And the core question is this: Is your organisation on track to deliver what it said it would?
A new Calendar year underway, how's your Strategic Plan tracking?
Tuesday 22 January 2013
It's easy to get distracted at this time of year what with many people on holidays, the New Year on the 1st of Jan or 10th of Feb depending on your preferred calendar, or the upcoming back to school time frame. And the core question is this: Is your organisation on track to deliver what it said it would?
2013 will be the International Year of Crowdsourcing
Monday 31 December 2012
If you haven't yet picked up on the process of Crowdsourcing (a means to acquire the capabilities you need by asking the crowd 'out there' for help) then this is the year to do so. Most of the not for profit groups that have been through an Advanced Strategic Planning session will know my views on using Crowdsourcing to overcome both financial and time constraints and the article in the link below explains more about wy this year is likely to be the critical mass point for Crowdsourcing
Five Emergent Ideas for 2013 you won't find on any 'Trends for 2013' list (just yet)
Wednesday 19 December 2012
This is copied in full from the Looking Up Feeling Good website: There's lots of talk about 'next big things for 2013' right now, just as there has been in past years. Rather than join the cadre of prognosticators, trend experts and (not so) disguised) salespeople laying claim to knowing about what 'will' be for the coming 12 months, I offer an alternative approach – here's five ideas I'd like to see taking root over the next 12 months:
Strategic Planning and the Mayan 'Prophecy'
Sunday 16 December 2012
On the 21st of December this year, the world is coming to an end. Well, so say those that have interpreted the Mayan's failure to produce another 400 year long calendar that extended beyond 2012. Imagine having to strategic plan a society, 400 years in advance - I shudder to think! Yet the Mayans did and could because their world changed very slowly. In times of slow change, long range planning is simple and generally effective. In rapid change it is easy to think you can afford to do the opposite - no planning what-so-ever. And that'd be a mistake, especially as we can expect a very dynamic 2013 and beyond. Setting your intentions matters to your organisation , your staff and your stakeholders.
Strategic Issues and Trends - Beware the near history!
Tuesday 4 December 2012
The Australian Strategic Planning Institute uses the Organisational Evolution model to help organisations ensure that their approach to Strategic Planning is dynamic, adaptive and effective. One element of that model that sits in the Strategic Phase is 'Strategic Issues'. A Strategic Issue is anything that demands your organisation allocate resources towards dealing with it or addressing it effectively. In order to identify and determine what Strategic Issues exist, many organisations rely on 'Trends' as a key indicator. Which is fine except when the trend suggested as 'emerging' has in fact been around for quite some time.
How do you 'Strategic Plan' a City?
Wednesday 21 November 2012
Planning a City is an awfully big task and it's clear that around the world, and in Australia, some cities seem to have planned better than others. Whether it's live-ability, street-scapes, job creation, traffic chaos, shanty towns or whatever it happens to be, one of the first steps is to look at the City you want to plan for and observe and notice, what it tells you, by the way it operates and the 'feel' it emits. I've just been to Perth and
Feedback for 'Getting Your Future Right'
Tuesday 6 November 2012
So the low key launch has seen sales of the book 'Getting Your Future Right' slowly making their way out into the world yet the feedback coming in is quick and decisive. I'm delighted that it's having a hugely positive impact. Some of the comments include: 'I said to (**) that we have to get our plan, we've been doing okay but now we have to work out where we really want to go!' and
For people who'd like a little help with 'direction' this book is for you
Tuesday 9 October 2012
Most people probably have at some time or another, felt a little lost, unsure or unsettled with how their life is going. Believe it or not, that makes you normal. And you'll stay normal provided you find a way to work through the unsettled time and work toward a desired outcome. Which is where this book comes in - helping you to identify that next 'work toward' goal for your life
Getting Your Future Right - Your Personal Plan to a Better Life
Thursday 6 September 2012
The first print run has arrived and is now available for sale. It will be going up on the main book seller sites in the next few days or you can contact us here for a direct purchase request.
Getting Your Future Right is rolling off the presses!
Thursday 16 August 2012
It's funny how things take longer than expected. Putting together Getting Your Future Right has taken a major portion of the past 10 months of my working life and finally it's hot off the presses in the next day or so. It has been far quicker than Killing Trends (four years plus, one chapter and much polish to go) so I am of course delighted. Many thanks to participants at The Australian Strategic Planning Institute's public workshops who prompted me for turning the model into a personal Life Plan process.
Marcus Barber's new book to be published in August
Monday 9 July 2012
Building off the back of the Organisational Evolution Model which Marcus Barber created for The Australian Strategic Planning Institute, his latest book 'Getting Your Future Right' will be published in August. Stay tuned for updates and we'll also let you know when you can buy a copy
Applying the Organisational Evolution Model to Personal Futures Planning
Wednesday 6 June 2012
Thanks to the calls and reminders (and very direct nudges asking me to hurry up), my book 'Getting Your Future Right' based on the Organisational Evolution Model is now in final editing
The Future of Christchurch
Tuesday 29 May 2012
I was fortunate enough to have been involved with the Cairns and Far North Queensland Environment Cooperative recently in their public program looking at the future of the region. One of the interesting sub-points emerged regarding the future of Christchurch in New Zealand. From a planning perspective in which the whole inner city will need to be rebuilt the city has taken the opportunity to ask the community 'what do you want?'
Great session of Strategic Planning in New Zealand
Sunday 1 April 2012
We recently held a Strategic Planning session just out of Christchurch in Lansdowne in New Zealand on the 31st of March. Many of us had a chance to spend some time in Christchurch and look at the sad state of the city only a year on from the devastating earthquake. There's still much to do and both civil and strategic planning is high on the agenda of businesses across the region.
The Big Barrier to Organisational Change
Sunday 29 January 2012
I've had a good opportunity to study all sorts of organisations up close and personal so take this as one person's informed view as to the barriers to getting change to happen and to stick. There's lots of talk about internal competencies, about getting people on board, about clear direction and good communication of what is planned. But in the end my experience working across industry sectors leads me to pick one, above all other barriers to change - permission.
Is your Organisational Strategy Dead or Alive?
Wednesday 18 January 2012
Founder of The Australian Strategic Planning Institute and Director of Looking Up Feeling Good, Marcus Barber has written an article highlighting the commonalities across doing well and doing poorly organisations which you can download for free via this link:
Strategic Planning for Primary Schools
Sunday 15 January 2012
The Australian Strategic Planning Institute is delighted to offer Primary Schools in Victoria a chance for Primary School Boards to undergo a session on Strategic Planning. This will be a two hour accelerated session conducted in house with flexible times available, including the possibility of running the session after hours to cater for board members coming from other workplace commitments.
Is Your Strategic Planning Resilient?
Wednesday 21 December 2011
Over at Looking Up Feeling Good, futurist Marcus Barber has posted up a list of what is being positioned at (unofficially of course) the International Year of Resilience including the twitter hashtag of #2012yearofresilience. There's a few interesting tips being suggested and you can
The Biggest home grown Wildcard yet?
Wednesday 16 November 2011
Over at Futurist Marcus Barber's main website you'll find an example of some wildcard thinking. Those of you who have been through our courses know that our Strategic Issues are often exposed to risk or unexpected impacts. As always, the strategic planning discussions need to extend to the idea of capabilities available to you in case the big 'what if' happens because that kind of discussion will help you uncover gaps in your organisation's ability to cope in times of sudden stress.
Understanding the role of Futures work in Strategic Planning
Wednesday 2 November 2011
Most organisations appreciate, if not understand that the process of Strategic Planning has little to do with the document that is the final 'output' of the planning process, and much more to do with the thinking that developed the plan and the execution of the stated intentions contained within the plan. The hundreds of organisations that have attended our Strategic Planning workshops understand explicitly that the 'plan' is merely a capture of the concise thoughts that have emerged in thinking about how the organisation will move closer to its stated Vision - the future it wants to have or create. Yet a single challenge remains - how do you tie Futures Thinking to the Strategic Planning process?
Resource allocation in times of uncertainty
Wednesday 14 September 2011
A common type of question that arises in public workshops is how to make decisions in time of uncertainty. The entire strategic planning process is underpinned by making choices about what is both desired as a business, and what is possible. The best Strategic planning efforts understand the need to make choices that provide forward momentum (results) whilst staying open to potential changes and the unexpected.
How the Australian Census is part of one big Strategic Plan
Monday 1 August 2011
The Census coming up in Australia next week forms a significant input to policy decisions. Based on the information gathered across the nation, policy makers will assess the direction Australia has taken compared to the last Census. The challenge for policy makers is two fold: 1. Are we asking the right questions in order to have a better understanding of the way our future is shaping up? and
Where should you start to get your Strategic Planning right?
Wednesday 13 April 2011
This is a surprisingly common question and one that hinges on the process you use when bringing your strategic plan together. For the majority of organisations with work with, or who come through our public workshops, the most common starting point is 'last year's plan' or 'the last strat plan we did'. And that can be as good a stepping point as any, provided that you've got a track record of covering off on all aspects of the strategic plan. But (and it is a big one) if your organisation is missing some key components of a strategic planning process, there's a fair chance you are going to run into trouble that could have been avoided. So here's a few tips in the form of questions to consider -
Preparing for Strategic Issues
Sunday 10 April 2011
A challenge for many organisations is being prepared for the key strategic issues they face. I define a 'Strategic Issue' as anything that requires you to commit organisational resources in order to deal with the issue. Many organisations are great at preparing for those expected events - this is a typical budgetary approach where set expenditures are anticipated and funds allocated.
Not For Profit Corporate Fundraising workshops coming soon
Sunday 9 January 2011
We're putting together a workshop program to assist Not for Profits entities align their ventures to the needs of Corporates. We hope to have the first workshop dates in February released soon
Getting Your Future Right - personal workshops for planning your own life
Wednesday 3 November 2010
One of the consistent challenges we face as individuals is planning for our own lives. Indeed the question 'How do I do this for myself?' is frequently asked by people who've been in our public workshops aimed at Organisational strategic planning initiatives. Due to the demand, Marcus Barber has just commenced creating a personal future planning framework.
2010 Advanced Strategic Planning workshop dates to be released shortly
Tuesday 9 March 2010
Steven Bowman and Marcus Barber will be looking to run their highly popular Advanced Strategic Planning workshops later in the year
A new addition to Christmas carols
Sunday 13 December 2009
At the Looking Up Feeling Good website, strategic futurist Marcus Barber has posted a new Christmas Carol to remind us to spend wisely over the break
Have a Safe holiday break
Sunday 13 December 2009
If you're about to wind down for the summer period, please have a safe time and enjoyable one too
Adelaide Advanced Strategic Planning One Day Workshop Fully Booked
Sunday 5 July 2009
All places for the one day Advanced Strategic Planning workshop in Adelaide have been taken
Adelaide Advanced Strategic Planning Workshop - just three places left
Thursday 25 June 2009
As expected, places filled pretty quick for this first workshop in Adelaide, and as of the time of writing, just three places were left for the workshop coming up in July. With another one not scheduled till sometime next year, this would be a great opportunity to ensure that your Strategic Planning efforts deliver the results you want
Adelaide Advanced Strategic Planning One Day Workshop
Wednesday 10 June 2009
The next Advanced Strategic Planning one-day workshop being run by The Australian Strategic Planning Institute will take place at Rydges in Adelaide on the 13th of July and bookings are now open
Advanced Strategic Planning Workshop in Melbourne
Tuesday 19 May 2009
There are three places or so left for The Australian Strategic Planning Institute's one day Advanced Strategic Planning workshop at Karsten's in Melbourne on the 26th of May. This highly engaging day 'workshops' the key issues and areas for improvement in Strategic Planning using the expertise of our two co-facilitators as well as drawing on insights from people in the room. If both Steven Bowman and Marcus Barber are in the country at the same time we hope to be able to run additional TASPI sessions later in the year, especially for Brisbane and Sydney.
Strategic Planning Workshops Brisbane & Sydney
Wednesday 13 May 2009
No more spots available for the One day Public Workshop in June for either Brisbane or Sydney - seems like everyone wants to maximise their efforts at the same time and both Steve and Marcus have been experiencing a 'rush' of inquiries - we do hope to be able to run an additional workshop for those cities later in the year
2009 The Australian Strategic Planning Institute public workshops dates released
Sunday 15 February 2009
The Australian Strategic Planning Institute one day Public workshops on Advanced Strategic Planning have been finalised. Because these workshops cover issues like 'Wildcard events' and 'contingency planning' most organisations that have been through these workshops would likely be better placed for the current turbulent environment because they would have a strategic plan that has prepared them for rapid and unexpected change. This year we have included Adelaide on the calendar and we are attempting to include Hobart as well, as New Zealand later in the year - see dates below
2009 dates for Australian Strategic Planning Institute public workshops due to be released next week
Monday 9 February 2009
TASPI is in the process of finalising their program dates for the 2009 public workshops and we will be releasing the dates on this website and to our email list shortly
Advanced Strategic Planning workshop - final four places
Tuesday 25 November 2008
That's right there's just four places left to help your business gain a jump start on its planning initiatives for the new year - in times of turmoil you need great thinking, planning and execution and this Strategic Planning workshop contains all critical elements your organisation needs. Download the brochure and booking form or call us if you have any questions
One Day Workshop in Sydney almost sold out
Thursday 13 November 2008
The one day Advanced Strategic Planning Workshop in Sydney on the 11th of December has just 8 places left so act now
Strategic Planning One day Workshop - Sydney 11th December
Sunday 12 October 2008
The Australian Strategic Planning Institute's next one day workshop is booked in for the 11th of December in Sydney. You can book by downloading the program
Presentations that make a Difference program - booking closed
Thursday 18 September 2008
Bookings for each of the one day workshops with James Freemantle in October have now closed.
Presentations that Make A Difference - Melbourne bookings now closed
Sunday 17 August 2008
Bookings for the August 21st James Freemantle's workshop 'Presentations That Make a Difference' are now closed. Due to demand we have opened two new dates in Melbourne - you can pick from Thursday the 2nd of October or Friday the 3rd of October - 'strictly first in, best dressed'. We're also delighted to have secured James for two additional sessions for our Sydney based audience
Strategic Planning Workshop materials now available
Wednesday 13 August 2008
The workshop materials from the Melbourne session are available for all participants - you'll need the password sent to you to open the PowerPoint files
One Day Strategic Planning Workshop in Melbourne on 7th of August booked out
Wednesday 23 July 2008
Once again we've been fully booked for our one day Advanced Strategic Planning workshop. We apologise if we can't fit you in for this session and please contact us for other options we might be able to offer or suggest
James Freemantle joins The Australian Strategic Planning Institute
Monday 14 July 2008
We are delighted to announce that James Freemantle - he of the talented Television presenter variety, has joined TASPI as the key facilitator for our Communication, Media and Presentation Skills training programs. James will be running a half day training session on: 'Presentations that Make a Difference' coming up on the 21st of August in Melbourne
Advanced Strategic Planning One Day workshop - August 7 in Melbourne
Monday 30 June 2008
The Australian Strategic Planning Institute will be running another of its fantastic one day workshops on the 7th of August, in Melbourne. The format continues in the similar style as the recent event in Brisbane, with three content experts looking at critical aspects of the Strategic Planning process, and then a two part panel discussion where participants can ask specific questions related to their organisation's Strategic Planning issues.
Asking the unaskable question - Do we have a right not to die?
Wednesday 25 June 2008
Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber has contributed a chapter to Volume Five of the 'Death and Anti-Death' Anthology which has just been published by Ria University. With contributors including Aubrey de Grey and Kevin Kelly and edited by Dr. Charles Tandy, Volume Five in the series is dedicated to the memory of Loren Eiseley, the renowned Anthropologist, science writer and environmental advocate.
Biofuels and Global Starvation
Friday 13 June 2008
One of the challenges for one aspect of the world is fuel and the price of fuel used for private transportation. I use the word 'aspect' quite deliberately because the 'aspect of the world' that seems to be making the most noise about rising fuel prices is by and large the 'westernised' world - that's the people like you and me who drive cars. And here is where things are fascinating - while many in the westernised world complain about the costs of filling their cars, others look for 'solutions' to the problem, and one proposed solution is 'biofuel'. What is fascinating is not so much that people are wanting to find solutions to their 'problem' of costs of private transportation but the fact that people who see biofuel as the answer to their problem seem to be ignoring the simple fact that the solution to their 'lifestyle' problem is causing a greater challenge in dealing with other people's 'life' problem. Put simply, one person's "right to drive" is being placed ahead of another person's "right to live". We are literally killing people because we think driving our cars is more important (a greater 'right') than feeding people.
Marcus Barber to Open Supply Chain and Logistics Conference
Wednesday 14 May 2008
With the theme 'Moving Forward, Supply Chains of the Future', Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber will open the Australian Supply Chain and Logistics Conference in Brisbane in July on behalf of the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia. Details for the conference can be found below.
Not much to be Proud about - an Apology to the coming generation
Tuesday 29 April 2008
On the 22nd of April I did a quick presentation at the Water Technology Breakthrough Forum hosted by The Churchill Club and IXC at the Melbourne Town Hall. Over lunch during the day we were lucky enough to have a group of seven students from Melbourne Grammar and MacRoberstons Girls High School form part of a panel that was facilitated by Richard Hames. It was a rather enlightening group. well informed about water policy and issues of an environmental nature and there was a wide perspective of views including 'the social activist', 'the interested economist' and 'business leader' who fell naturally into the roles that seem to align with their thinking. And then Richard asked a question along the lines of 'What does or is likely to motivate you to change your behaviour?' The answer of one of
Book Recommendation - Gang Leader for a Day
Monday 28 April 2008
When it comes to quality strategic futures work as part of making the pragmatic decisions that shifts beyond theoretical futures work, I encourage my clients to question the assumptions they make about the information they have available to them. Which is why I am recommending the book 'Gang Leader for a day - a rougue sociologist takes to the streets' by Sudhir Venkatesh. What Venkatesh highlights so succinctly is that making decisions when you are disconnected from reality will ultimately lead to outcomes you didn't expect.
Marcus Barber on 774 ABC Melbourne Conversation Hour discussing Australia 2020 Futurists Summit
Wednesday 23 April 2008
Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber was well and truly forced to justify the existence of his profession when venturing along to Jon Faine's Conversation Hour last week. Co-hosted by Cath Pope the discussion looked at the role of Futurists, the Australia 2020 Futurists Summit and Jon's scepticism around the role of futurists..
Australia's 2020 Future - the Futurist's report
Sunday 20 April 2008
You'd think that given a focus on the future, you'd ask specialists in the future to have some input, and whilst that didn't occur for the PM's Summit in Canberra over the weekend, some of Australia's Futurists had already done the leg work to contribute their thoughts on the future of Australia. That report is now available and it would appear, given some of the initial media coverage suggesting that 'nothing new' emerged in Canberra, the Futurists have once again shown that their aproach to thinking can be a significant benefit
Australia's 2020 Future - the Futurist's report goes 'live' tomorrow
Thursday 17 April 2008
Some of Australia's leading futurists gathered in Melbourne in March to provide a specialist Futures approach to addressing the Australia 2020 Summit in Canberra. The outcome of that Summit and the development that subsequently followed has led to the creation of the report 'Australia 2020 Futurists Summit' that has worked through each of the ten themes highlighted by Prime Minister Rudd
Marcus Barber to join Jon Faine for the Conversation Hour on ABC Melbourne
Monday 14 April 2008
Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber will meet with eminent ABC radio presenter Jon Faine on Wednesday the 16th of April to discuss the outcomes of the Australia 2020 Futurists Summit and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Australia 2020 Summit in Canberra on the weekend
Rethinking Remuneration at the RCSA Workforce Symposium
Monday 17 March 2008
Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber has presented 'The 8 Factors' model of remuneration at the Recruitment & Consulting Services Association 7th Workforce Symposium in Canberra in March. The model, previously appearing in Australia's leading Innovation magazine 'Fast Thinking' provides a means for businesses to think beyond 'cash' as the primary motivator or attractor and
2020 Australia - Futurist's Report
Tuesday 4 March 2008
A group of leading Australian Futurists gathered over the weekend to consider the 10 core themes set to be tackled at Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Australia 2020 Summit in Canberra in April. Convened by Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber, the 2020 Australia Futurists Summit utilised some of the advanced facilitation and strategy development techniques as a means for extracting additional perspectives of how Australia might begin to address the 10 Core themes, and encapsulated thinking and insight from Futurists around Australia.
Australia's 2020 Future - the Futurist's report
Monday 25 February 2008
As preparations continue for the Prime Minister Rudd's '1000 heads' ideas summit in Canberra in April, a group of Australia's leading futurists are gathering in Melbourne this weekend for the 'Australia 2020 Futurists Summit'. The futurists attending the summit work across Australia, in corporate, not for profit and Government agencies in a variety of fields and will look at each of the key areas the Prime minister has flagged as critical themes for development.
Are Interest Rate Rises Too Clumsy to Help a Teetering Economy?
Friday 22 February 2008
A few thoughts on what steps could be taken to overcome the 'treat everyone like a nail' approach that Interest Rate rises seems to do. Check out the idea under the 'Latest Focus' section
How to Stop Japanese Whaling in its Tracks
Thursday 7 February 2008
Marcus Barber offers his thoughts on How to Stop Japanese Whaling in its Tracks and suggests that raiding boats won't do the job. Instead he suggests that the key to negotiating with the Japanese is to have the Japanese people do the work. And to encourage them to do so we must begin to talk about Scientifc Research and Japanese Honour because when it comes to whaling, the two are at opposite ends of the spectrum. You can find the full story via the 'Latest Focus' tab above.
Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Blanketed by Dust Storm
Thursday 17 January 2008
If an 'Inconvenient Truth' raised the profile of global warming to the general population, it appears that a willingness by political leaders to take appropriate action to mitigate the possible ramifications is still very much lacking. It is such a pity. No one who holds the Global Warming scenario close to heart wants to be proven 'right' - in fact no one I know who suggest that Global Warming is a serious issue even wants the chance to be proven right. Instead their desire is for action to be taken now so that the opportunity to be proven right evaporates. And still our leaders sit on their hands because the potential discomfort associated with making social changes through legislation and changing the energy and water use consumption of our nation is one they seem not prepared to face. 'Better to be
2008 - what a year it was!
Friday 28 December 2007
Yes you read right - thinking ahead I'm anticipating an amazing 2008. Happy new year to all for when it happens (depending on the calendar you subscribe to) and I look forward to some fun, challenges, stresses and enjoyment for the year ahead. Marcus Barber :-)
Marcus Barber discussing the Future on 774 ABC Melbourne
Thursday 20 December 2007
Marcus Barber joined host Tim Cox and co-host, author and writer Andrew Peglar on the Conversation hour to muse about the types of futures one might expect to see in coming years.
Marcus Barber to be Interviewed on 774 ABC
Thursday 6 December 2007
Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber will join Tim Cox on 774 ABC as part of the conversation hour next week
Australian Strategic Planning Institute Workshop Sold Out
Wednesday 5 December 2007
The Australian Strategic Planning Institute's one-day Strategic Planning workshop on the 12th of December 2007 has been fully booked.
Strategic Planning Workshop in Australia
Tuesday 27 November 2007
The Australian Strategic Planning Institute is holding another one day Strategic Planning Workshop on the 12th of December. Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber will join Maree Conway and Steven Bowman in explaining the critical stages of the Strategic Planning process; highlight the traps that catch far too many organisations and detail the key processes used to develop effective and organisationally useful Strategic Plans. The workshop will also run a targeted Q&A session that will allow participants to have a specific question about their organisation's Strategic Planning process to be addressed. Details can be found
Australian Election 2007 - 20/20 Hindsight
Sunday 25 November 2007
"When you change a Government you Change a Country" the deposed Prime Minister John Howard said in the final days leading up to the election on Saturday and a theme his Foreign Minister Alexander Downer echoed. So given the 'economic boom' and years of strong growth and low unemployment, what exactly did Australia want to change? There will be many pundits in the media offering analysis of the reasons for Australia throwing out the Prime Minister and his Government. The common theme already emerging in many media circles is that Australians were itching for change. For me this is an all too simplistic and inaccurate representation of the reality. Australians are a surprisingly conservative lot and despite our innovative tendencies do not opt for change all that often. So why given the apparent good times and piles of cash did the vast majority of Australians seek an alternative? In brief - it was because at a very deep level, Australians felt that their identities were under attack and, like they have done on every other change of Government, were not prepared to stand by and let that happen.
From Foresight Foreplay to Corporate Consummation
Wednesday 14 November 2007
At the AustForesight 2007 Conference, Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber and fellow Futurist Steve Tighe presented their take on what is required to enable futurists to be seen as more relevant to the Corporate world. Drawing on their shared experience as facilitator and client, they detailed the journey of foresight and futures across the past 50 years and posed the question 'where's Wally? - why is it that of the three children put up for adoption in the 1950's: 'Strategy'; 'Marketing'; and 'Foresight', foresight remains the 'ugly sibling'? Their presentation
Melbourne Cup Predictions
Monday 5 November 2007
Futurists often get asked things like 'Okay then - who's going to win the 'flag' this year'. In Melbourne Cup time most of my friends ring me asking for a hot tip. Given my consistent poor form at selecting a winner, why they would ask me is anyone's guess (unless they are working out who NOT to back!) so this year I've put a little more futurist's thought into it and here's what I've come up with: The 'signals' (coincidences) I've been picking up tell me that The Fuzz, Blue Monday and Purple Moon would be a trifecta bet were I to have one. My 'lucky numbers' of 9 & 11 give me Zipping and Master O'Reilly and also based on the barrier draw Princess Coup. The Fuzz is included twice because it's out of barrier 11. Enjoy the day. If you do have a punt, keep it sensible and while you're there, say 'Hi' to Kenny for me :-)
Exploring Matters of Life & Death
Thursday 25 October 2007
Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber has been invited to contribute to Volume 5 of the book series 'Death & Anti-Death' edited by Charles Tandy PhD. the full title is 'Death & Anti-Death, Volume 5: 30 years after Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)' (ISBN 978-1-934297-02-5). This edition is dedicated to Eiseley, a reknowned ecologist and anthropologist whose focus on the ideas of Charles Darwin led to critical claim in the scientific community with his 1958 book 'Darwin's Century'. Barber's contribution
Applying Strategic Foresight to Organisational Change
Wednesday 17 October 2007
Does your organisation suffer what Futurists call 'Operational Sleepwalking'? That most organisations (and people) willingly sleepwalk their way into their futures is not all that surprising. What is surprising about that however is that those people and those organisations are: * Surprised when something unexpected (and not to their liking) happens and, * Claim they had no alternative Tackling this all too pervasive mindset Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber will be presenting at the Centre for Organisational Development OD Professionals Network on the 24th of October, looking at how Organisational Development, HR and Learning & Teaching Managers can leverage Strategic Foresight to assist their organisations. The link to the evening can be found at the website where you can also register for the event - A summary of the evening follows here:
Identifying & Overcoming Barriers to Innovation
Monday 15 October 2007
Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber will present ideas on how to identify and then overcome the Barriers to Innovation as part of the Monash University Berwick Business and Education Group (MUBBEG). Drawing from his articles in Fast Thinking Magazine and his soon to be completed book 'Killing Trends: The Graceful Art of Innovation', Marcus will challenge the notion that creativity is the same as Innovation, that you ought to rely on external experts to 'do your innovation' for you, and that everyone knows what you mean by Innovation
The Australian Strategic Planning Institute Gets a Boost
Thursday 27 September 2007
Maree Conway, of 'University Futures' has joined the Australian Strategic Planning Institute as a lead facilitator for the Institute's programs. Maree's experience in policy development, planning and strategy initiatives provides additional weight to the sessions on offer. TASPI now have three key facilitators that cover critical steps in
Private Water Theft and How to Combat it
Wednesday 26 September 2007
As water restrictions continue it is likely that we will see an increase in instances of water being stolen from private storage units (water tanks). A recent article in the Herald Sun reported on the theft of water from tanks belonging to Boorandara Council supplying water for parklands. Although in a public place, the water is effectively a private storage capacity on behalf of residents and this incident is unlikely to be the last one we hear of. I'm currently working with a specialist water tank company whose core advantage exists in the way their storage units make theft increasingly difficult and
How to Catch a Stealth Bomber & Other iiBubbles
Friday 21 September 2007
The latest edition of Fast Thinking has hit the streets and includes another tool for those seeking to develop innovation and strategy. Marcus Barber explains how to use, what he calls an 'iiBubble', a process that helps capture an idea to see if it has innovation 'legs'. As one of the tools unique to Barber in his work as a Strategic Futurist, the process is simple enough for most organisations to be able to quickly employ in their creative teams and innovation programs. Some of the iiBubbles include turning Lake Eyre into an inland sea to help rainfall on the eastern seaboard as well as a means by which you might be able to spot and catch a Stealth Bomber
Talented Futurist Celebrates a Birthday
Thursday 30 August 2007
Looking Up Feeling Good would like to wish the very talented and focused futurist, Sophie Barber a happy birthday today. Sophie's amazing talent at suggesting the possible future for a positive outcome is a true inspiration and we look forward to many more insights as the complexity of challenges continues to test our understanding, commitment and readiness for the emerging futures.
Leading Sustainability through Corporate Real Estate Hypothetical
Wednesday 22 August 2007
The CoreNet Global Melbourne 2007 Summit incorporated a thought provoking Hypothetical panel discussion on the future of corporate real estate and the drivers for sustainability. With an economic futures framework provided by Melbourne University Professor of Economics Neville Norman who moderated the discussion, the panel included Aggie Aitken, Head of Workplace Development at ANZ; Strategic Futurist and Director of Looking Up Feeling Good, Marcus Barber; Yossi Ghinsberg, the Founder and Director of EthnoBios S.A ; and Michael Greene, Regional Director of Corporate Solutions at Jones Lang LaSalle
Housing Crisis and A Difference to a Difference of Opinion
Friday 3 August 2007
Last night the ABC program 'A Difference of Opinion' looked at the issues of the housing affordability ciris. The panel provided some quality perspectives as to what was causing the challenge and what kind of actions might need to occur in order to address the issue with Ross Gittins' early observation that the debate completely ignored one of the most significant affected groups, 'the renters' as worth the admission price to the debate. And I was left wondering if the assorted suggestions were failing to address a more basic question - 'why exactly do Australian's believe that owning their own home is so important?' It is a question that Sohail Inayatullah's Causal Layererd Analaysis might provide insight to as the 'mythology of home ownership' is placed under the spotlight. A recent Hudson Institute report showed that over the past 30 years in Australia, the capital growth of the average home worth $100,000 in 1970 was about 6.5% per annum. Not much above bank interest on a $100k cash investment. The issue of housing afforability requires more assessment by the futures community. If not, the economists, social advocates and builders might end up debating the wrong issue
Innovation in Employee Engagement
Tuesday 17 July 2007
Among other great articles, the winter 2007 edition of Fast Thinking magazine highlights the '8 Factor' model for effective employee engagement, created by strategic futurist Marcus Barber. Using the model he shows how organisations can develop greater flexibility when it comes to providing incentives as a means for improving productivity and ensuring longevity for staff. Check out where you can download a copy of the article and then make sure you subscribe to this excellent Innovation magazine.
Sustainability as a Source of Competitive Advantage
Friday 22 June 2007
Dan Atkins, former manager of Environmental policy at Toyota and now Director of Sustainable Business Practises and Strategic Futurist Marcus Barber will speak at the South East Networks / VicUrban Business Breakfast at the Sandown Racecourse on Wednesday the 27th of June. Both Dan (who'll discuss how Toyota applies its Environmental Policy in order to reduce costs and increase profits) and Marcus (who'll look at some of the emerging points of pain likely to impact on business operations in the future) will look at sustainable business practises and how to leverage an advanced sustainable framework as a point of ongoing competitive advantage. Dan's impressive record in the Sustainability field will be complemented by Marcus' ability to identify both the emerging issues in business and then to design operational strategies that enable your business to make more effective choices given the potential changes Tickets available at the door (7.15 am kick off) or via South East Networks on 613 9238 1576
Future Alerts Subscription Service now Monthly
Friday 25 May 2007
Looking Up Feeling Good's advanced signals reporting service 'Future Alerts' is now available as a monthly subscription offering. Designed to provide your organisation with signals indicating potential change, each report comes with analysis of the signals and how they might impact your business. Applying some advanced Environmental Scanning process, including the 'VSTEEP' model, you can have the report customised to specific areas of interest a long with analysis that ensures the report is as immediately releveant as you desire.
Marcus Barber invited to attend World Water Week in Stockholm 2007
Friday 11 May 2007
Futurist Marcus Barber has been invited to present at the Stockholm International Water Institute's prestigious World Water Week conference to be held in Stockholm later this year. His abstract submission 'Life versus Lifestyle: the emerging clash between consumer demands and water availability' forms part of the key workshop item of 'Managing Future Consumer Demands' which will attempt to consider the multitude of approaches and factors that will influence fresh water availability around the globe. The full abstract is availble below. To request a copy of the full paper, please contact us
May Brainnovation Session now open
Thursday 26 April 2007
The May Brainnovation session is open for bookings. If you'd like to be invited to attend this highly focused, creative and thought provoking session please contact us. We'll send you an invite and as these sessions are strictly limited to no more than 15 people, it's 'first in - best dressed' for acceptances! You'll be guided by Marcus Barber, arguably one of Australia's most innovative futurists. The next session is open for Thursday the 24th of May - book now
Authenticity & the Craft of Brewing Beer
Thursday 29 March 2007
Every now and again you discover something well ahead of the general public that is worthy of further investigation. That is the key advantage of being a futurist - you get to spend a lot of your time just looking for signals of change. In this case it is the soon to be opened Barleycorn Brewers in Huntingdale, Victoria. A professional brewery for the public, Barleycorn Brewers provide the budding Brew-Master, home brewer and anyone else interested with the chance to create, can or bottle, and then drink their very own beer. The significance of this concept is the way it ties in with the emerging shifts in consumer sentiment that is seeing the rejection of 'Brands' and an increasing search for 'authenticity' which will require a major shift in the way products and services are pushed to the marketplace. It is something I have been suggesting to organisations for quite a while now
Strategy and Game Shows
Tuesday 27 February 2007
Marcus Barber joined Brigette Duclos on the Channel 10 program '9am with David & Kim' to discuss strategy and the game show 'Con-Test'
The Emergence of 'Enoughness'
Tuesday 13 February 2007
I mentioned this concept a couple of years ago and now I am beginning to see a major shift in customer sentiment. This is, I believe, the start of a significantly different time for businesses in dealing with their customers as a result of a whole series of smaller issues coming together. Enoughness appears to be emerging as a result of what I refer to as a 'Cascading Discontinuity Set' - the small and seemingly unconnected elements merging into a major shift in customer behaviour. Enoughness will fundamentally change the consumption driven business models now in play and there will be winners and losers on all sides and this isn't just a theoretical futuristic assessment - it is a very real phenomena
Advanced Organisational Strategy (AOS) Events
Wednesday 24 January 2007
Your Advanced Organisational Strategy events coincide with a specific need for your business and lead to excellent outcomes. These events are customed tailored to help you solve an organisational challenge or to answer a key exploratory question for you. The AOS focuses on two main objectives - to create a specific 'How to' for solving an existing problem; and to create a series of 'what ifs' in an assessment of the future. You'll work with Marcus Barber, arguably one of Australia's most innovative futurists in a program that will nudge, guide, cajole and push your thinking to greatly enhanced levels
Innovation & Counter Intuitiveness
Tuesday 23 January 2007
The idea behind Innovation is to create something new, that has yet to be conceived. A lot of the times that requires Counterintuitive thinking and that can be a very difficult challenge because it needs to break the habits in our thinking styles. For me the essence of being a futurist is the essence of innovation, two concepts which cannot be separated.

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