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cover art for THL: If You Want To Design The Future, Don't Start In The Past

The Wilson Fletcher Studio

THL: If You Want To Design The Future, Don't Start In The Past

Season 1, Ep. 9
You wouldn’t dress for yesterday’s weather, so why design for yesterday’s behaviour?

Equally, looking too hard at how things work today will stop you from thinking inventively about the future. There are lots of reasons why businesses shouldn't spend too long navel gazing, instead creating a future for themselves that changes behaviours – creating new ones, even – and so creating new value and resilience for the future. Here, in the next of our The Human Layer series podcast, we explore what it means to be truly future-focused, and why you might have been doing it all wrong.


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  • 3. FSD: How to approach futurestate design with the right mindset

    11:54
    'Instead of looking for the trend lines or the weighted averages, look for the aberrations or oddities; the things that jump out for being out of the ordinary.'In this, the second episode in the Wilson Fletcher Futurestate Design series, Mark Wilson outlines the many ways in which today's business is misleading, and how this stops us from truly understanding the shape the future might take. Fortunately, Mark also shares the ways in which you can flex your futurestate design muscles, enabling you to make educated decisions based on future trends or behaviours, today. Read by Ella Bowman, WF content strategist.
  • 2. FSD: Welcome to the Futurestate Design series

    09:53
    'It’s incredibly hard for members of any established company to think about what the future company should be, beyond broad-brush statements about culture and behaviour. However, ask them about how — if it didn’t have to do anything it does today — the company could interact with its customers (or any other commercial partners), and a whole series of opportunities emerge.'In the first of the Wilson Fletcher Futurestate Design series, Mark Wilson outlines what futurestate design is, and why it's important for companies that want to future-proof. The series will explore how, using a variety of processes and techniques – so-called futurestate design – your company can not only survive, but flourish. Read by Ella Bowman, Wilson Fletcher content strategist.
  • 1. THL: The value of a vision visualised

    09:32
    Visualising vision is a key part of our work at WF. We use it extensively throughout our strategy and innovation programmes, and it frequently plays a vital role in helping a new initiative to progress successfully.In this podcast, taken from our Medium-hosted blog, The Human Layer, WF's content strategist, Ella Bowman, reads co-founder Stephanie Fletcher's article by the same name. In it, it identifies why visualising your vision for the business can help unite your team to deliver – with enthusiasm – service innovations within a strategic programme.When the goalposts are defined, then everyone knows what to aim for.
  • 4. FSD: The Futurestate Design rules

    07:31
    'Ignore the usual rules and you can avoid becoming obsolete'When you're developing your futurestate vision, supercharge your business strategy and release your thinking from traditional constraints that could be holding you back, by following these essential practices.
  • 5. FSD: How to design for the customers of tomorrow

    10:49
    'None of us know what choices we’ll make, or behaviours we’ll display, in the future.'In this episode of the Futurestate Design series, we'll be exploring how to engage a future customer in their absence: their 'state' tomorrow – their needs, behaviours and wants – not yet known to us, is there a way to ensure your business will still be relevant to them?
  • 6. FSD: Why current-state analysis matters

    12:03
    'By now, we hope, we’ve established that current-state analysis can’t tell you anything very useful about your business of tomorrow... Where it does help is in identifying how great the gap is between the business of today and the vision for the future.'Current-state analysis isn't for the faint hearted. This episode unpicks when best to use it, and how, to help you get to your future state.
  • 7. FSD: Developing a Strategy to Realise Your Futurestate Vision

    14:19
    A well-developed transformation strategy articulates how you move from the organisation of today to the organisation of tomorrow, without making the futurestate vision a rigid point at the end of a plan (you should have improved upon elements of that future vision by the time you reach it!).This episode covers the whys and hows of purpose, vision statements, target customer models, futurestate experience visualisations, key transformations and capabilities, principles, KPIs and developing a roadmap: all to help you create your crucial futurestate design strategy.Sounds complicated? It's not. It's good sense and it's exciting. When put into practice, it's something you and your teams can unite behind.
  • 8. FSD: Empowering Your Organisation to Make Your Futurestate Real

    10:31
    People aren’t stupid; they know that any substantive organisational transformation will lead to changes that might impact them personally, so you have to make the ‘to’ far more appealing than the ‘from’.In this final article of the Futurestate Design Series, we’ll talk briefly about that last magic ingredient in the futurestate design formula: empowering the organisation to execute the strategy successfully and bring (a version of) that futurestate vision to life.