Working Group on Learning to design its “Preferred Futuring”

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15 November 2010

During the 20th Working Group on Learning (WGL) meeting held in Wokefield Park near Reading, UK, on 29-30 October 2010, the eight members present supported by the group’s secretary, continued their brainstorming session on preferred futuring* (see note) moderated by Dr. Zsolt Molnár, the working group’s new Deputy Chair. The exercise concentrated on the 5th and 6th steps of the process “from vision to action” and was an opportunity for all members to “design” their preferred future, rather than just “project” it. A tour de table gave everyone the chance to contribute to the brainstorming session, from two different prospective: “Me, Myself and I” and “the Working Group on Learning”. The outcome generated a priority list of topics to which focus should be given. Particular attention should be paid to the following items:

  • Creativity,
  • Pro-activity,
  • Innovation,
  • Structural changes,
  • Niche-markets,
  • Access to on-line learning,
  • Supporting quality

The meeting also discussed the “revised” questionnaire for line managers issued by the Secretariat under mandate of the Annual Programme Committee (APC). Three members worked on this issue and revised the proposal for the Training and Research Committee (TRC). The results of the Post Course Evaluation Questionnaire (PCEQ) for Line Managers are used to measure level 3 of Kirkpatrick’s evaluation system: the behavioral level. In the WGL’s opinion, the way of working proposed in the PCEQ for Line Managers is an efficient, combined solution to the problems detected. Finally, the WGL recommends that the Secretariat start working with the new revised PCEQ for Line Managers and regularly revise the outcomes, so that the PCEQ keeps reflecting the actual answers from the Line Managers. Adding an indication of how long completing the questionnaire might take to its introduction text would also prove beneficial.

The WGL continued an evaluation process of the “Train the trainers” CEPOL activity. The course should develop a conscious didactic approach, a vocational approach focusing on police and law enforcement authorities, and aim at creating common knowledge. The activity should be based on the competency profile for trainers, elaborated by the WGL which clearly lists the requirements. The Chair drew the focus to the activity’s educational efficiency: “which method is good for what?” and “Is there a lack of content?” As the WGL is a contributor of content to this activity, it was proposed that at least one member of the group attend the activity in 2011, so that lessons learned from previous experience not go lost.

The group will also reconsider the Glossary issue and will come back with a proposal after further enquiries are made by the working group and the Secretariat.

Note: Preferred Futuring is a method of strategic, long range planning that is especially effective in non-profit organisations where incentive and reward is more intrinsic than in business. Created by Dr. Lawrence Lippitt, Preferred Futuring is a whole system change methodology. It enables an organisation to plan for and construct the future they want and inspire the passion and energy to follow through and get there. The Futuring model focuses on core values. It aligns the pursuit of operational and performance excellence with our mission. It is based on the truth that all stakeholders can and must participate meaningfully in the present and future states of our organisation. The process contains eight clear and simple steps:

  1. Our History; A Focused Review: How and why did we get where we are? In Step One, a brief historical “scan” is performed, sharing what we know throughout the decades of our history. One summarizes lessons learned and consequences: circumstances that made us who we are.
  2. Our Current Situation: An Assessment: What’s working…. and what’s not? In Step Two, one assesses whether we are doing the right things and how well we are doing them.
  3. Mission, Values and Beliefs: Identifying what is important? Who are we? What guiding stars will direct our future? In Step Three, one looks at the results of the Organisational Assessment data, determines ones mission and core values.
  4. Forecasting Events, Developments and Trends: Identifying Future Factors: What things are on the horizon that may impact our future? In Step Four one scans the horizon for things that may be coming that will impact the future.
  5. Our Preferred Future: Creating the Vision: What is the future we want to create? In Step Five one evaluates and summarizes the suggestions of members and creates a preferred vision for our future.
  6. Translating Future Visions into Action Goals: What achievements will be made in creating our vision? In Step Six, one creates goals that represent the components needed to achieve the vision.
  7. Developing a Plan for Action: What strategies will support the achievement of the goal? In Step Seven, we create strategies and actions to achieve the goals.
  8. Working the Plan: Putting the plan and the people in place and working the plan. In Step Eight, one creates and maintains the infrastructure to carry out ones plans.
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