What future are you assuming today as you develop tomorrow’s workforce?

Thinking about the future can be overwhelming. We are bombarded with promises of a straight- lined, narrow path to the ‘future of X !”.

Appealing as simple depictions of a single future may seem, this way of thinking can narrow our breadth and depth of questioning and can lead to missed opportunities, trigger new challenges and make old problems worse.

If we start to change how we think about the future and begin to understand that the future is not set in stone, we can start to see wider, more diverse perspectives which can lead us towards a broader range of patterns of change, their inter-relationships and how these patterns may manifest, often in non- obvious ways.

Right now, HR and workforce planning teams everywhere are trying to navigate pathways through and beyond COVID-19. The future we prepared for when making pre-COVID business decisions looks different to the future we are walking into, so we feel an urgent need to pivot and act. The ‘tyranny of the urgent,’ where we focus on the very urgent at the expense of what is actually important and emerging, is a response that can paradoxically exacerbate our current challenges and circumstances.

Holding the space for both what is urgent and what is emerging is especially important right now; an approach where we respond to the needs of the present while also lifting our gaze to consider what direction we find ourselves travelling in, and what direction we might want to travel in.

What future are you assuming today as you develop tomorrow’s workforce?

We all have blind spots, biases, and different perceptions of what is happening now and what might happen next. To build a future-ready workforce that is resilient across a range of plausible futures, we need to consider how multiple trends and patterns of change might bump into one another in a way that impacts our business and workforce.

At Ahoyhoy we are designing new ways to give you access to formally trained futurists, foresight practitioners, tools and resources that help you and your team to anticipate and rehearse the future.

This will allow you to stretch your thinking, we invite you to try on different perspectives, and become explicit and intentional about the assumptions that underpin your workforce strategy.

A membership to the Ahoyhoy Futures Suite provides you and your team access to a range of futures resources including live future scenarios that explore possible futures of work in Australia through three key domains of change:

  1. Constraints of COVID-19: exploring possible pathways out of the pandemic; considers uncertainties such as the ebb and flow infection rates, availability of vaccines, virus mutations, tracking & tracing, and the dance of lockdown restrictions
  2. Socio-economic Response: considering potential social and economic responses and who we choose to be as a nation through this transitionary period
  3. The Voice of the Worker: in many explorations of the future of work, the views, values, and perspectives of workers are often absent. This domain explores different possibilities for what workers are seeking from their work, what they value, how they make sense of the world and their place in it.

Each new scenario is informed by ongoing research into how the context is changing. Trends that are manifesting are purposefully combined in ways that are both obvious and non-obvious to explore probable and plausible possibilities.

You can join the waiting list to join our futures suite membership here: Link to Futures Waitlist.

We have a limited number of dialogue and discovery sessions available with our Futurist team. To find out more please reach out to futures@ahoyhoy.com.au.

Cover image: Envato Elements

This article is contributed by Ahoyhoy.

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