Outsights uses future thinking to expose existing and potential leaders to the skills they need to navigate the uncertainties of the external world to make informed decisions now - for their organisations, their people and themselves. Our tailored programmes address the business issues of individual organisations and typically run from one to three days, sometimes as a module to set a creative and lively tone early in an in-house Leadership Development programme. The programme often includes the 21 Drivers for the 21st CenturyTM Presentation and Scenario planning methodology to highlight the complexity and uncertainty of external developments facing organisations today, before applying outside-in thinking to help organisations make decisions now.
Summaries of our work with different organisations are below:
National School of Government (NSG) Top Management Programme
Outsights has run events for the National School of Government's Top Management Programme for the past two years. For one day during the week long course, Outsights Scenario Day introduces senior public sector policymakers from across the UK to what's driving change in the next 20 years, a hands-on taste of building Scenarios and implications of the Scenarios created for the UK and their organisations.
Outsights has also run sessions for the Top Management Programme in Abu Dhabi entitled "Leading in an Open World" for the National School of Government. This programme, attended by senior policymakers from the UAE, was designed to stimulate thinking from an "outside-in" perspective so that participants can think openly and creatively about future uncertainties and possible developments in the wider (external) world; provide a forum and methodology which helps to integrate and share different perspectives and ideas, and to encourage a strategic and meaningful dialogue about the external forces shaping change. Participants were also taught to create a broad framework to understand how the future might develop and the implications for action by organisations and individuals in Abu Dhabi.
B2B Professional Development
For a leading global energy company, Outsights developed a leadership development module to expose participants to new ideas, challenging insights and non-linear ways of exploring their future business environment. This helped participants make sense of trends and discontinuities in the external world (beyond their industry), identify relevance for their businesses today,and provided a highly engaging foundation for the remainder of their leadership programme. Over 2½ years, Outsights delivered 12 events for more than 350 participants from 43 different countries.
Inspiring the 'best and brightest'
A blue chip media company straddling the new and old economies wanted to inspire its 100 "best and brightest", and to challenge them to engage with their board on how the future might change the business. Outsights designed a two-day event that exposed the participants to a wide range of future trends, and stimulated them to articulate their own perceptions of the future and present plans to the board for action.
A major energy company needed a time-efficient way to expose its top 650 executives to the radical changes that might reshape it's business environment. Outsights and its associates brought together leading-edge thinkers and industry specialists in an event that permitted all participants to grapple with the implications of drivers of change in the domains of climatology, transportation, medical science, the IT-driven working environment, politics, economics, religion and social trends.
Outsights has worked with Business Schools - in UK, France and Scandinavia - to deliver Futures Programmes to graduate students. One example is the Stockholm School of Economics Fenix Programme, which has the ambitious objective of bringing together young high flyers from industry, government and NGOs to prepare together for the future. Scenario thinking is used to shape the framework for the Programme, as a strong team building exercise, and an opportunity to create a shared set of perspectives about the future.
Outsights has also future thinking to help the University of Warwick's Asia-Europe Summer School postgraduates think about future as a team-building programme. The programme focussed on "The Future of Multilateralism" and included an introduction to Scenario planning, prioritising drivers for change for the future and building Scenarios. The students took the process further with the identification of the implications of the Scenarios for the major political, business, civil society and individual actors.
21st Century Trust
One of the leading UK programmes for young to mid career professionals, this Think Tank uses Scenarios to help people from disparate organisations to come together for a few days, as a way of giving a common thread and process for their wide ranging discussions. It allows them to work out some of the big questions early on, to engage with the faculty and then try to answer their questions, in a friendly but sufficiently disciplined structure.
Keeping Senior Executives at the leading edge of industry
In one leading Healthcare company a leadership development programme brings together young leaders with Senior Executives to think about the trends and shapers of their industry. Outsights helps participants to identify the macro factors shaping change in the coming decade and scope the possible future trajectories of key drivers. In building the Scenarios, participants have come up with insightful and credible options for developing the business.