Tuesday, 16 January 2007

I was at Corporate Management Team today and we had a presentation by John Fisher from the Local Futures Group. The Local Futures Group is a research and strategy consultancy in local economic development, regeneration and public policy, specialising in the new economy. Local Futures' analyses the geography of economic and social change in Britain and interprets the results for government, businesses and partnership clients. Each year they produce a unique geographical perspective on the state of modern Britain.

In the session John did for CMT he analysed the state of well-being in Leeds from three different perspectives – economic, social and environmental. He then summarised his findings and considered the implications for us as local policy makers. The session provided a thought-provoking analysis of ‘local futures’ in Leeds in a knowledge economy era. It focused on a new localism where he argued you can only succeed with better knowledge and better intelligence... sound familiar? He highlighted the real challenges we face around creativity, innovation and leadership in a conceptual age... sound familiar? He highlighted the real challenges we face around deprivation, health inequalities and crime... no surprises there then! Importantly, John highlighted the real energy and focus needed around education, learning and skills if we are going to survive in a world of abundance, asia and automation.

The session reminded me of the issues Dan Pink raises in his brilliant book 'a whole new mind'. He asks us to consider what we are doing to earn a living and asks three questions:
1. Can someone somewhere do it cheaper?
2. Can a computer do it faster and better?
3. Is what I can do in demand?
If your answers are yes, yes, no then you are in deep trouble as an organisation, a team or an individual.

John's excellent session reinforced the critical importance of Dan Pinks 'six senses' which he argues will increasingly guide our lives and shape our world. The six senses are Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning. Anyone can master these senses but those who master them first will have a huge advantage. So lets get on with it!

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