Education and Automation

One interesting point that Richard made during his conversation with Annemie was around the role of education, in particular higher education, in helping people get into employment. This is particularly important amongst youths in Europe, for example, where the unemployment rate is currently 21% But not only is higher education important for its own sake, it is also important from the perspective that it can drive higher wages and high

Date Posted: June, 5 2017

Doing Things Better and Creating Better Spaces for Employees

An interesting point raised by Richard Coles in his discussion with Annemie was about the need to think about how we get people to do things better and how we can create a better space for employees. In this regard, understand people’s mental models is critical. But understanding people’s mental models is only part of the puzzle. There are other theories out there that can be useful in helping us create better spaces for em

Date Posted: May, 30 2017

Understanding People's Mental Models to Unleash Creativity (Part 2)

Last week I looked at how understanding people’s mental models can be used to unleash creativity. This can be particularly applicable when people find themselves in situations where people don’t know what to do and want to find a solution. This could arise in a situation which is extreme and hasn’t been encountered before in your organisation. But when you’re trying to understand people’s mental models, it

Date Posted: May, 22 2017

Understanding People's Mental Models to Unleash Creativity (Part 1)

One advantage to living in extreme times is that it often happens that people don’t know what to do, which in turn can unleash creativity. This was a point raised by Richard Coles in his discussion with Annemie at this year’s PurpleBeach Experience. But in such circumstances, it’s also important to try understand what people are saying so you can try create a shared meaning in order to move forward. To underst

Date Posted: May, 15 2017

Surfing the (Kondratiev) Waves

Last week I highlighted how often we don’t realise that we have been living in an extreme period until after the fact. I also highlighted some questions you can use to understand the past. Another useful tool comes from economics in the form of Kondratiev Waves. This theory, developed by the Soviet economist Nikolai Kondratiev argues that the world economy works in cycle-like phenomena with each wave lasting approximately sixty y

Date Posted: May, 3 2017

When Things Look Linear But Are Actually Extreme

This year’s PurpleBeach Experience focused on extremes and how extremes, rather than moderation can generate creativity. One of this year’s conversation partners at the Experience was Rev. Richard Coles (former member of the Communards and now member of clergy in the Church of England). During his discussion with Annemie, Richard made an interesting point: “It’s only wh

Date Posted: April, 24 2017

Looking Back at Last Year's Experience and Looking Ahead to this year's Experience

It’s hard to believe that this year’s PurpleBeach Experience is only a few days away. It feels like last years’ experience only happened yesterday. So now is as good a time as any to think about the past and the future. We didn’t get here by complete accident (though sometimes unforeseen events can have a big impact on the present) and we won’t be shaping the future by complete accident either. Though, aga

Date Posted: April, 3 2017

Analysing Trends to Deal with Extremes

We all have ideas of how we think the future will pan out. Consciously (or even subconsciously) we all have an idea of not only how we think the future will pan out (the probable future), but we also have ideas of possible and preferable futures. As we have rediscovered recently, things don’t go according to plan. Sometimes extremes happen. But how can you cope with these extremes? In my two blogs I looked at environmenta

Date Posted: March, 27 2017

Some More Thoughts on Environmental Scanning and Extremes

This year’s PurpleBeach Experience is about embracing extremes and last week I mentioned environmental scanning as a way of identifying the extremes within your environment. But how do you do environmental scanning? I’ll explore this in a bit more detail in today’s blog. 1. Environmental Scanning You need to know where you are going to focus your attention on any relevant extremes. But ho

Date Posted: March, 13 2017

Scanning Your Environment to Deal with Extremes

Given the increasingly extreme times we live it, it’s important to try anticipate the future. As regular readers of this blog will know, it’s important not to think about the future as a singular concept but to think about the possible, probable and preferable futures. There are several ways that Future Studies can help you anticipate the future. Each of the tools in the Futures toolkit are centred on the concept of “

Date Posted: March, 7 2017

Embracing Extremes

The theme of this year’s PurpleBeach Experience is about embracing extremes. Last week I blogged about one potential extreme – the rise of artificial intelligence (“AI”) and the impact that it can have on our societies. It is axiomatic to say “everything in moderation” but there have been some interesting developments in science that would suggest that moderation doesn’t lead to interesting sur

Date Posted: February, 28 2017

The Robots are Coming!

Next week, in the run up to this year’s PurpleBeach Experience, PurpleBeach will be hosting a breakfast seminar on artificial intelligence (“AI”) and how companies need to be responding to the complexities, challenges and opportunities that AI brings. This breakfast feeds into the theme for this year’s PurpleBeach Experience which is all about “between extremes”. Certainly when it comes to AI, there

Date Posted: February, 20 2017

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