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HR Executive Talks: Disrupt or Be Disrupted - Futureproofing the Workplace

by Olive O. Barrozo | Nov 30, 2017
PLDT_HRExecutiveTalksWork futurist and business coach Rick Von Feldt, center, is shown here with PLDT Learning and Development VP Deng Kibanoff, left, and FPLA Leadership Program Director Jeremy Pintor during the open forum of the HR Summit dubbed Future Proof: The Future of Work. Now.

In this tech-savvy world where changes happen incredibly fast in every aspect of life, companies can either choose a preferred future by designing their organization and leadership skills or allow change to continue to happen beyond their capability. “You either disrupt or be disrupted,” said work futurist and business coach Rick Von Feldt. 

According to Von Feldt, forward-thinking organizations would of course go for the former, using a systematic discovery process known as Strategic Foresight to choose a preferred future.

Speaking and facilitating at the HR Summit dubbed Future Proof: The Future of Work. Now, a whole-day event organized by PLDT-Smart, FPLA and Meralco at the Meralco multi-purpose hall, Von Feldt said “Strategic foresight starts with the #What’sNext? List.”


Questions such as ‘Is the organization ready?’ and ‘What’s on your #nextlist’ can be answered by Discovering, which entails challenging assumptions and understanding biases; Exploring – uncovering signals and hidden opportunities, analyzing trends, creating patterns; Mapping – developing future scenarios, creating narratives; Agile Action – designing and executing agile action plans, determining sprint priorities, focusing on preferred futures; and Continuing these plans and actions.

“Six external influences are pushing us to rapidly evolve our mindsets, systems and business choices. These are people, environment, economics, politics (impact of governments, laws, policies and regulations), technology, and culture,” Von Feldt emphasized to summit attendees composed of leaders and executives from the PLDT Group of companies. 

He pointed out that using strategic foresight on the influence of people, for instance, organizations can evaluate how it can be disrupted by changes in demographics, ages, ethnicities, skills and knowledge gaps, longevity, and future customers. On technology, how will an organization be disrupted by new tools and systems and which technologies will disrupt it; and on culture, how will an organization be disrupted by changes in the beliefs and values of its employees, its customers and partners. 


Apart from strategic foresight, the speaker also listed the following as the top 10 skills for 2025: Digitalization; Agile innovation; Complex problem solving using cognitive flexibility; Change leadership; Critical thinking using predictive analytics and knowledge;Engagement of a new generation of values amid diversities – how do you manage a workforce that embraces difference over homogeneity? Understanding and adjusting to new business models; Managing and leading the challenge of rapid skill shift; and Rapid iterative creativity.

Helping organizations realize the dramatic changes happening in the next 10 years in the workplace, Von Feldt has taught social learning boot camps at IESE University in New York City and is often asked to teach Fortune 50 leadership courses in the 2020 Workplace. He has also coached and lectured in the Master of Communication at the Stanford Graduate Program.   

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