Just a couple of weeks ago we attended the largest human resources conference, SHRM’s Annual Conference & Exposition in Viva Las Vegas. While we speak at events around the globe, this one was extra special because Kedge Founder and TFS Co-Founder Frank Spencer presented alongside our esteemed colleague, Richard Ramsey, former VP of HR for Walt Disney International (WDI). Together they hosted a SHRM mega session on how WDI collaborated with Kedge to create a culture of over 500 futures thinkers across 24 countries.
Leading up to the conference, Frank and Richard were interviewed by SHRM blogger, Amanda Brunson. In this discussion they spoke about Richard’s Disney career, Frank’s entrance into and unwavering passion for Strategic Foresight, and highlights of the WDI work that spanned more than five years. Follow the conversation here.
The morning of their mega session, Frank and Richard had another opportunity to share the value and transformational outcomes of our Disney foresight partnership in the SHRM Studio. Melissa Dawn Simkins asked them a number of questions that would be top of mind for HR professionals new to the idea of Strategic Foresight and futures thinking. Specifically, they discussed:
- How critical are future thinkers to an organization?
- How do we use Strategic Foresight to move an organization forward?
- What inspiration and strategies can you share with individuals that feel like they are ready to be a champion for this change but don’t know how?
Watch the full interview below.
Then, it was showtime! Frank and Richard took the stage to share with a diverse group of approximately 500 HR professionals how they can transform their department or organization (big or small) into “futures thinkers” who are equipped to handle a new operating environment.
Disruption is the new normal. Global organizations have been experiencing aggressive growth targets and challenging labor markets, and media giant The Walt Disney Company is no exception. Walt Disney International’s former vice president of HR tells the story of how he led a multi-phased change management effort across the worldwide enterprise, building a culture of “futures thinkers.” He details the practical lessons learned as HR reframed strategy processes, identified talent and skills gaps, produced future-empowered innovations, and established a new leadership competency.
- Why strategic foresight is a critical methodology, skill set and mindset for the 21st century.
- How creating a culture of futures thinking can pressure-test existing strategies, lead to the development of innovative products and services, drive the identification of gaps in talent and skills, and inspire other business segments to take action.
- The importance of creating a global standardized training program implementing local and custom integrations when rolling out a change management effort.
Interested in learning more about Disney building a culture of futures thinkers? We were approached by Palgrave Macmillan publishing to include our case study in their textbook entitled: Futures Thinking and Organizational Policy: Case Studies for Managing Rapid Change in Technology, Globalization and Workforce Diversity. This textbook is an excellent resource to help you make the business case for foresight or explain its ROI. Our chapter is entitled, “Disney’s Workforce of the Future: From HR Initiative to Organizational Culture.”
The entire chapter and/or textbook is available for purchase here.
If you are interested in experiencing the same training that helped create a culture of future thinkers at Disney, then join us at the next cohort of The Futures School Applied Foresight Accelerator in Portland. This 3-day, hands-on program follows the Natural Foresight® Framework used across The Walt Disney Company!