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FutureProofLearning

Our latest news – April 2021

By News, Webinars

Our latest news – April 2021

Accessible Onboarding

We were recently commissioned by one of our long-standing clients to produce an onboarding guide for a new post which was created as a result of a major service restructure. While this is something we are very familiar with and have produced many times for previous clients, the approach we needed to take with this particular project was completely different and totally new to us. We were advised by the client that the audience for the guide would have an average literacy level of around 8 years-old, with some unable to read or write at all. The onboarding guide had to be extremely accessible – both in its language as well as format. At first, we were quite unsure of how we would create a guide which was accessible and digestible for all, without over-simplifying or patronising.

We worked with our graphic designer to come up with a new concept consisting of clean visual elements which would go hand-in-hand with clear and concise language as well as audio description of every written component of the guide. It was designed in such a way that it could be viewed on a device like a laptop, tablet or phone, or printed out to act as a physical handout. We worked very hard to avoid any complicated language – we discovered that striking the perfect balance of simple and effective language was actually quite difficult! So much so, we became a little obsessed with it. However, we feel that the work we dedicated to that really paid off.

The client ended up with a brand new concept which they had never used within the organisation before. They were pleased with the combination of clear language, sharp visuals and audio description which resulted in a highly effective and valuable resource for them to use, now and in the future.

 

Future Proof Ourselves – Webinar series

As you might know, we have been running fortnightly webinars since the beginning of lockdown. These have been very well received and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed running them. We particularly like that participants join in the discussion and offer their own thoughts and insights, which makes the sessions all the richer for everyone. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated – we really appreciate it.

We concluded the latest series of four sessions on 9th March. Throughout the series we covered Future Skills, Future Leaders, Future Workplaces and Future Teams. As you’ll see there was a theme and focus on the future. We had some insightful and interesting discussions around some expectations people have for the future and also presented some findings and statistic which showed us what we can prepare ourselves for.

By the end of the series, it was clear that we can expect there to be a considerable change to the way we work, expedited by COVID-19 and remote working for almost everyone, in some capacity. Leaders will need to adopt a more holistic approach to leading their teams, taking into consideration not just the working experience of the employee but more importantly, their life experience. Workplaces will not look massively different to how they do right now with many places adopting WFH more readily and embracing a more balanced working life between home-working and in the office. This will be accompanied by and will support more fluid and agile teams. We will also need to consider the way in which we re-skill and up-skill ourselves for the future as 50% of workers will need re-skilling by 2025 (World Economic Forum).

We have now launched a brand new series which kicked off this week with a fantastic session on Burnout. Lorna and David took us through a brilliant workshop on how to identify and manage it, both for ourselves and others. We came away with excellent ideas on how to avoid it, what signs to look out for and left feeling very calm and collected after practicing an amazing breathing technique to finish the session.

The following topics covered in this series will be Collaboration, Industry 4.0 and Clean Language, which is scheduled for 13th April at 10am. We hope to see you there!

Client News

As always, our clients are the most important part of our business and we love to be given new challenges and opportunities, which is happening more and more in these complex times! We prefer not to single people out but  would like to share with you below a sample of the types of work we have been carrying out.

New clients are welcome anytime and we are always delighted to hear from existing clients about new challenges. The list includes:

  • NHS Assure – running a number of large-scale team development events ahead of a restructure and the creation of this new public health body
  • Ofgem – designing and running a large number of on-line workshops as part of a drive to roll out a new performance management & development process
  • NHS NSS – providing specialist advice on converting face to face workshops for online use
  • UK Policing – designing and running transformational change workshops with senior and specialist staff for digital transformation of policing services
  • Renfrewshire Council – in addition to the article by Sunna, we continue to work closely with the Council in implementing their new service model
  • Universities Scotland – designed and run 2 new workshops on workload management & strategic selling, including Clean Language
  • West Lothian College – designed and launched a new Leadership Development Programme for the new Executive Team at the College
  • Education Scotland – new style influence programme to reflect remote working for Head Teachers
  • NHS NSS – continuing weekly webinars on change, morale & resilience
  • East Renfrewshire Council – continuing the Leaders for the Future programme that we converted to a digital platform, working with the Roads Team to roll out Management Development & Executive Coaching as well as designing some webinars for the Economic Development Team & their new strategy
  • NHS National Services Division – designing a major facilitated event on public health planning post pandemic
  • NHS NSS Finance – planning a series of Rocket Remote workshops to support their transformation programme

Thanks again to all the clients who provide us with such great opportunities to work with them and their teams. We are delighted to be able to continue working with you and to support you in your endeavours as always.

Leadership Development & Team Coaching

By Coaching, Leadership & Management

Leadership Development & Team Coaching

Team Coaching

In addition to growing our current Executive Coaching portfolio, we have been working hard on rolling out Team Coaching with a number of clients. This offers the opportunity to work collectively with senior and experienced teams to help them think through, plan or implement some changes that are best worked on together. This is an exciting and rewarding approach to working with teams and offers a highly effective alternative to full day strategy and team events. Of course, these will still have their place, but in the current climate, it is impossible to run or even plan for these.

Team Coaching is a dynamic and action-focused approach to taking teams through a journey of change, growth and development and  can work alongside 121 coaching or independently, depending on the team’s needs and where they are in terms of their own maturity.

Teams might wish to undertake this as part of their overall development or in relation to specific challenges. At present and in the near future, we can see several changes building up or being planned, and a team approach may be fruitful with changes in structure and remits, for example.

In some teams, it may be about how they re-build or adapt to vastly changed circumstances or understand each other better and assist their performance growth through the use of team coaching that they undertake together.

If you would like to learn more about this new approach, please get in touch at info@futureprooflearning.co.uk

Leadership Development when you don’t quite know what you want – yet!

Towards the end of last year, we were asked by a client to help design a leadership programme for a senior team. The challenge was that they were already high performing and that they had been provided with development programmes before and hadn’t found that they were getting any benefit from them. Not only that, but some of the team had even stopped attending, figuring there were better ways to spend their valuable time. Nevertheless, the client (and the team) still felt they would like to develop their leadership which was becoming more of a priority during lockdown – they just hadn’t found the right way yet. So, could we help them?

We met with the client and heard about the team. We then met with the team and heard from the members themselves. They were a big team – around 20 in all and were more used to working solo than together but would be open to trying different ways of learning together.

So, we came up with the idea of using Rocket, our business simulation platform as a way of engaging with the team and allowing us to diagnose some of the diverse needs that would be made more explicit by the way they played the game together.

Having set up the day for playing the game, the client explained that a number of the team were home schooling and would find it hard to commit to an extended session. So, we thought again and broke the session down into 3 separate modules that represented the levels of the game but took place over 3-4 weeks.

We had never attempted this before but were prepared to take the risk and the team were really happy with the opportunity. It has opened up new possibilities for their development and enabled them to see themselves more clearly. In addition, it has given us further tools to diagnose the development needs of a team and enabled us to create some programme options for them that will stretch them further and provide the stimulus they were previously lacking from other forms of development.

If you, or your team are looking for new ways and opportunities to improve connection and leadership during lockdown, please get in touch at info@futureprooflearning.co.uk

Future Strategy and Skills for 2021

By Change, Coaching, Interpersonal Skills, Productivity

Future Strategy and Skills for 2021

Future Strategy

Piling more change on top of existing change was never considered a good idea. Better to let thigs bed down, we used to say. Let things settle down for a bit. That was then and this is now however, where old rules no longer apply.

We have made lots of changes this year – website, digital platforms, skills and products. But we aren’t done yet and are determined to adapt to an ever more rapidly changing world of work. With that in mind, we have been doing some spring cleaning of our products and services and are intending to move the business to become simpler and easier to explain (for us) and to understand (for clients). This is more likely to be evolutionary change rather than revolutionary, but we want to make some switches to ensure that what we produce is relevant and valuable, rather than nice to have.

We are also looking at additional markets to enter and are likely to develop our B2C (business to consumer) routes much more in future.

All positive and very exciting for us and we hope for you too, so watch this space!

Re-skilling

At Future Proof Learning, all of us are avid learners and are passionate about learning and development, both our own and our client’s. And while the world was plunged into turmoil and the world of work was flipped upside down, we took the opportunity to learn new skills which we could utilise in the new way of working and beyond.

This opportunity has proved extremely beneficial for us. It has allowed us to create some brand new concepts and ideas to add to our repertoire as well as identifying new ways to deliver workshops and training sessions.

At the beginning of Lockdown in April, we enrolled in a 3-week course with Learning Stone. During that programme we got an excellent overview and introduction to online-blended learning as a concept. It gave us a great foundation to build our confidence, knowledge and experience of delivering programmes online. This training programme opened our eyes to what virtual tools and platforms are available, some of which we are now using every day. Obviously, we are currently operating on an “online only” basis, however we feel that the learning we gained from Learning Stone will also be implemented and utilised when we (hopefully) return to the physical training room.

Later in June, we signed up to a 4-part course with Shona Marshall at the ASM Difference. Her approach gave us great insight to how to adapt our delivery style to suit the online environment. While we had now acquired the practical skills to running workshops online through our learning with Learning Stone, we really valued Shona’s training on how to manage our online style to suit this new environment – how we can stimulate engagement and participation, keep everyone on the learning journey with us and ultimately achieve the client’s desired outcomes.

Since Lockdown began we have also attended a number of webinars through the Association for Coaching. These have been excellent for continuing our own development and for learning some new approaches and techniques to use with our coaching clients. We have attended sessions such as Mindfulness in Coaching, Developing a Growth Mindset and The Five-Minute Coach.

Over the last nine months, we have continued to learn new skills and develop new ways of working in the digital environment and have now settled into our very own style. We have adopted new ideas and concepts which are now starting to feel routine and natural. We are very excited to continue our learning and bring some of these new approaches with us for whatever 2021 has in store for us!

CSR – pro-bono summary

One of the positive effects of the pandemic has been this collective way of helping others in our community. When everything seemed dark and gloomy, people found ways of coming together and offer help where they could. We took the opportunity to offer some pro-bono work during these last nine months. Not only do we feel that pro-bono work can assist organisations and their people who might not otherwise have access to it, but we also get something out of it too. Whether that’s upskilling and providing experience for our staff or broadening our own perspectives and taking on new and different challenges.

While we have offered quite a bit of pro-bono coaching, we have also provided facilitation and L&D consultancy and advice. We have also provided free weekly webinars, available for anyone to attend, covering a range of topics from leadership to resilience.

We will continue to offer pro-bono work on a regular basis as we can see the benefit of this, both to the organisations we work with as well as ourselves.

Our latest news

By Coaching, Leadership & Management, News, Webinars

Our latest news

Client News

All our clients genuinely matter to us in any year and we are extremely grateful for your support this year in particular. It’s therefore unfair to single people out but a key feature of this year has been in 2 distinct areas:

  • New clients that we have welcomed and,
  • New work carried out for existing clients

New clients are welcome anytime and it’s been great that people have come to work with us during lockdown and without us being able to do our usual visiting and networking. The list includes:

  • Scottish Government International Trade & Investment – a conference using Zoom in October
  • NHS ARHAI (Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection) – running a series of team development events
  • Dumfries & Galloway College – Executive Coaching & Facilitation of Team and Board sessions
  • Hutcheson Associates – Executive & Business Coaching
  • NHS National Services Division – conference OD session on resilience, morale & change
  • 1Let – Senior Team Development
  • Scottish Cities Alliance – Career Development Workshops
  • Scotland IS – team building using Rocket simulation

New work for existing clients includes:

  • Ofgem – Webinars & Career Development Workshops
  • Education Scotland – new style influence programme to reflect remote working
  • Universities Scotland – Team development & working group sessions
  • NHS NSS – weekly webinars on a variety of leadership topics
  • Renfrewshire Council – a variety of activities, including webinars, 121 coaching, facilitation of workshops & recruitment
  • CompanyNet – rebranding workshops

Product News

We have all learned a lot the past few months and particularly about the different ways that people learn and work in a remote workplace. The Future Proof Learning team have been putting this knowledge to use recently and have been designing and creating some exciting new products which can be delivered entirely online.

Firstly, we are delighted to announce that, in partnership with Manabu Learning, we have begun running virtual escape rooms! We have a series of games where teams of players must work together, communicate effectively and problem-solve their way through a number of challenges in order to escape. The games are designed to test your teamworking and communication skills as well as your ability to think outside of the box. The games are run on Zoom so you can access them from a computer, laptop, tablet or even a smartphone. Each event lasts no longer than two hours and we can accommodate groups of 8-80 people although we will require additional facilitators for larger groups. Christmas parties are not going to be the same as what we are used to so this could be a brilliant alternative to enjoy some well-earned festive fun together as a team. It could also be a great tool for providing some social interaction for staff which is highly sought after and hard to replicate in a virtual environment.

As you will have seen from our previous updates and our new website, we have been focusing heavily on redesigning our products and services to suit online working. Over the last few months, we have redesigned our training programme for the highly effective transformational change method AOD (Assured Outcome Delivery) to be run entirely online and remotely. Just this week, Willie has been running a session via Microsoft Teams for a large public sector organisation in England and the feedback has been very positive. The future of AOD online is very exciting and in conjunction with our partners at the Outcome Delivery Network, we’re hoping to roll out a series of these training sessions throughout 2021.

Our series of webinars has been running since April and we’ve really appreciated your contributions and kind feedback. Some of our clients have requested that we run some bespoke webinars in-house for their own teams and we’re delighted to say that these have also been very well received. We’re looking forward to starting the next set of webinars in the new year, so please do let us know if there are any topics you’d like us to cover.

If you would like to hear more about our services or to find out how we could help you and your organisation, please get in touch at info@futureprooflearning.co.uk

Team News

We have had a few changes in the team this year to update you on:

Denise Campbell – Denise re-joins the team properly, following her relocation from Yorkshire back to Leith. Welcome home Denise – it’s great to have you back!

Luke & Hazel Robertson – Luke & Hazel have been working with us to design and deliver the webinars this year and to contribute to our work on resilience and coaching. Delighted to be working with you both

William Redpath – Will joins us following our partnership with Manabu Learning to work with us on Virtual Escape Rooms and other Virtual Team Products. Exciting new frontiers of work Will!

While 2020 has been an unprecedented year it has not been all bad for the Maltman family! We were delighted when David and Laura announced they are expecting a baby in early 2021. Willie and Barbara are very excited about welcoming their first grandchild into the world and with the advent of the Covid-19 vaccine, it will hopefully be a safer world.

Future Proof Learning are also pleased to announce that David has recently been promoted to Associate Director and he is looking forward to taking on more of the leadership of the business overall.

The good news didn’t end there – we got a lovely surprise when our daughter Sarah and her boyfriend Craig announced their engagement in September. We now have a wedding to look forward to in August 2022 when Corona Virus will hopefully be a thing of the past. It will be the celebration of the century – music, dancing, hugging!! Life is good! 😊