Joel Barker was the first person to popularize the concept of paradigm shifts for the corporate world.
He began his work in 1975 after spending a year on fellowship meeting and working with visionary thinkers in both North America and Europe.
He discovered that the concept of paradigms, which at that time was sequestered within the scientific discussion, could explain revolutionary change in all areas of human endeavor. By 1985, he had built the case and corporations and nations were seeking his advice.
In 1980, in addition to his work on paradigms, he began to focus on a second crucial component for organizations and individuals: the importance of vision.
In 1986, he released his first videotape, Discovering the Future: The Business of Paradigms. By 1988, it was the best selling business video in history. In 2001, he updated this film to include contempory examples and a shortened version. It has been translated into 16 languages and continues to influence people all over the world.
In 1990, he released his second video, The Power of Vision. This became his second best seller and has also been translated into more than a dozen languages.
His book on paradigms, Future Edge, published in 1992, was listed as one of the most influential business books of that year by the prestigious Library Journal. It has been used for more than a decade.
Joel Barker has worked with organizations, both for profit and not for profit, all over the world as well as with nations, including Singapore, Venezuela, Canada, Mexico and Peru.
His honors include an honorary Doctorate in Visionary Leadership from St. Mary's University and the Excellence in Education Award given to him by the international education association, Pi Lambda Theta for his part in supporting educational innovation.
Formerly director of the Futures Studies Department of the Science Museum of Minnesota from 1974 to 1978, he has spoken to more than 1 million people around the world and his films have been seen by more than 250 million people around the world.
His two most quoted phrases:
"You can and should shape your own future; because if you don't someone else surely will."
And for leaders,
"No one will thank you for taking care of the present if you have neglected the future."
LEADING IN THE 21st CENTURY: NEW WAYS, NEW TOOLS, NEW RESULTS
Key elements for being a 21st century leader are very different from the 20th century. Among the differences will be:
*A better understanding of emerging technology and trends
*Understanding how improved productivity is a key to world competition
*The application of new methodologies for anticipating unintended consequences, both short term and long term
*A deeper understanding of the power and leverage of vision
*An expanded background on how paradigm shifts and disruptive innovations drive the marketplace
*New ways of thinking about the future
*New information of innovations and trends
*New leadership skills for improve organizational vision
This presentation can be broadly customized to emphasize any of the above segments and can also add interactive elements to engage the audience.
Presentation time: 45 minutes to a six hour seminar and workshop.
INNOVATION AT THE VERGE
Innovation is finally being appreciated for its ongoing importance in every aspect of business and society. Joel Barker has found a special source of innovation which he feels will dominate the 21st century.
In this presentation he will explain how to find this new territory of innovation, show how Mother Nature has been using this territory for over 500 million years, and then show how it works for humans.
He will illustrate his theory with real life examples from around the world.
*A new source of innovation
*A new way to increase innovation in your organization
*Specific examples to illustrate the theory
*An exercise for uncovering this "innovation territory" close to your own organization
This presentation can be customized for specific industries.
Presentation time: 30 minutes to 90 minutes
FINDING THE FUTURE FASTER
How can I get more information about the future in a more timely fashion without hiring a special staff to do it? This presentation focuses on:
*Joel Barker's "Strategic Exploration tools" which use staff already in place to find the future faster.
*The basic thesis of this presentation is that with just a couple of changes in information gathering structure, you can engage your associates in simple systems that will increase the amount of useful information gathered significantly at almost no added cost.
This presentation overviews the idea of Strategic Exploration and then, given the time, teaches several of the processes for exploration.
*Understanding the difference between strategic exploration and strategic planning
*The "Possibilities Cone" framework for understanding how new ideas are brought to reality
*A process: Trend Interrogation for testing the importance of emerging trends
*A process: TIPS Teams for collecting information from the environment cheaply
THE POWER OF VISION: AN UPDATE
There is a lot more to understanding vision than just what Jim Collins has written about. Joel Barker, who introduced the importance of vision to corporate America starting in 1985 shows you the qualitative side of vision that all leaders need to know:
*How to quickly assess your organization's attitude toward the future using the Polak Grid
*How hope and vision are intertwined
*How the mass media influences your vision of the future depending on your culture
*How to inoculate your people with long term hope
*The Polak Grid as a simple measurement device for organizational vision
*A process for finding positive images of the future
*Learning the language of hope and hopelessness
Presentation time: 45 minutes to 90 minutes.
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