PLAY The Future (John Eyles)
The impulse to play – driven by curiosity and imagination – has been one of the keys to our evolutionary success. Play is a gift we are all born with, no one has to teach us how to play. We are naturally curious beings, inclined toward exploration, experimentation, and discovery.
In play we see things coming and do something about it. Think of the soccer player who positions themselves perfectly for the future ball, or the surfer riding the ever-changing waves. When applied to foresight, play can be used to both predict and create the future. Play trades beyond experience and exists in the emerging present. It provides a powerful tool to help us imagine futures, to navigate the UNKOWN unknown and discover the new NEW.
When we are playful, we are more resilient. When we are in a state of play we enter new states of consciousness with heightened awareness and perception. Yet often as we get older our individual PQ (Play Quotient) languishes and access to our gift diminishes, the same happens to established companies too, with fixed thinking becoming fatal. The most innovative brands and disruptive companies have a high scoring Play Index. The ability to adapt, be creative, see the seeds of the future and move beyond the box are all accessed through play.
The good news is that like a muscle, play can be developed. Short, simple activities and exercises can produce measurable results in performance and wellbeing. Like many aspects of the Future Mindset, Play requires attention, practice and commitment to master.
How to pursue a FUTURE-READY MINDSET (Gerd Leonhard)
While there is really no such a thing as “knowing the future” i.e. some kind of magic ability to predict what will happen, nothing is more important to the long-term success of organisations, countries and communities than what Gerd calls future-readiness. Gerd believes that the intuition, the imagination and therefore the resulting quality of foresight of your teams and especially your leaders will decide your fate, because the future is now happening exponentially. In fact, in many ways the future is already here, – we just haven’t noticed it yet!
There is a reason the half-life of great organizations is getting shorter and shorter. Technological disruption and competition have killed many once-great companies. And today, amidst the game-changers and megashifts poised to transform the world as we know it, only agile, resilient and creative organizations with future-ready people will have the fortitude and foresight to capitalise on these unprecedented economic opportunities.
The question is: how do you develop a future-mindset, what does it entail, and how can you go about making it a Future Mindset ‘the new normal’?
About John Eyles (Playlabs NZ)
John is an educator, advisor and futurist from Waiheke, Auckland, New Zealand. He has developed degree programmes in creativity and design, won international awards in innovation, and worked as a futurist in industries such as health, telecommunications and education. He is also the founder of PlayLabs NZ, a not for profit social enterprise committed to better understanding and promoting the ‘Play Impulse’ and its application to solving real-world issues.