- Tech Insights
Margaret Regan is the President and CEO of The FutureWork Institute, a global consulting firm that translates future trends to transform organizations. Operating on five continents, The FutureWork Institute is a certified women-owned business (WBE) that serves as an incubator of innovation and change in addressing current and future workplace and marketplace issues. Its focus is on helping clients achieve a MindShift, a HeartShift and a SkillShift in creating a more inclusive, future-focused culture and environment.
A Futurist Who is Always 10 Years Ahead
As a futurist and member of the World Future Society, Margaret is often asked to bring to her keynote presentations and consulting assignments a perspective on the next 10 years and their implications for workforce change management. Her keynote presentations, See the Future to Be the Future, are visual journeys into the next 10 years as ESIs and AI change the nature of how we work and serve clients. She has delivered presentations in Asia, Europe and North America entitled, Game Changers 2030: How They Will Impact Our Work and Our Lives. Recently she presented these global Game Changers at the UN along with a presentation on what it will mean to be human and have “personhood” in 2030. Clients say she predicted pandemics and remote work years ago.
“As a future of work consulting firm, we take the lead in encouraging clients to adopt new technology for working, training, educating, and collaborating without worrying about the latest COVID or flu epidemic. We're one of the few organizations that can supply a global faculty, adds Margaret. Clients believe we're the only firm in our industry with a future-focused global approach.”
“We've helped organizations understand the future of work and the pandemic by holding seminars titled ‘See the Future to Be the Future: Implications for Their industry.’ This features the top trends for the next 10 years, the ‘Now Normal’ and the ‘Great Reset’ during the pandemic, and how technology will transform our lives. We've transported clients into the virtual world to help them explore prospective projects.”
For The FutureWork Institute, The Metaverse is NOW!
Margaret explains, "As a future-focused firm, we have developed the FWI Metaverse (see photos) in Virtual Reality with auditoriums, classrooms, a theatre, a mall, dance pavilions, breakout spaces, and social activities." Their VR classrooms can quickly change topics, room configurations, and wall charts with the push of a button. A cabin in the woods (see photo) is perfect for small-group conversations or peaceful leisure. The Gathering Center contains a Japanese Tea Room, a dining room, a lounge, and a meditation room. Business meetings, training sessions, or conferences can include hang gliding, hot air ballooning, jet skiing, sailing, biking, or swimming. FutureWork Island in the Metaverse offers nine simulations with configurable avatars. FutureWork is training their facilitators to operate and run sessions in these virtual reality environments.
Some Examples of Client Results
A global organization had trouble promoting Middle Eastern, Asian, and African women. The FutureWork Institute developed a six-session Women in Leadership program which was delivered by a global faculty. This included Identity and Leadership styles; Gender Dynamics and Strengths-Based Leadership; Leadership Style and Executive Presence; Social Styles and Networking; Managing Cross-Cultural Teams; Strategic Thinking; and Personal Brand Statements. Organization officials spoke at a graduation where graduates presented their Personal Brand Statements. According to participant, supervisor, and employer ratings, the women were better, more confident managers who improved team cohesion and asked for career progression. The client praised FutureWork’s flexibility and readiness to accept participant input.
A large pharmaceutical business wanted to minimize unconscious bias in succession planning. Before performance management and succession planning sessions, FutureWork delivered Inclusive Leadership training focused on understanding our unconscious biases. The managers practiced a "Point It Out, Check It Out, Work It Out" approach to interrupting bias. Adopting "I" statements to address unconscious bias in others changed how managers approached these dialogues, according to the client. Now they can respond to bias comments without being judgmental or accusatory.
After George Floyd's death, many clients asked The FutureWork Institute to evaluate equity and racism in their organizations. They conducted DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) organizational assessments with an e-commerce company, an insurance company, a non-profit, and a city agency. At their Executive Strategy Session, each organization agreed to change 3-5 “vital few” areas to become more inclusive and FutureWork identified actions for each target area with the CEO and DEI Councils.
What Makes The FutureWork Institute Different?
Business Week described FutureWork's individualized employment style as "MyJob-MyWay, MyPerks-MyWay, MyBusiness-Our Way." Margaret explains, “This lets us build The FutureWork Institute with full-time core employees, part-time core staff, associates, affiliates, partners, etc., in concentric circles. People can move between these circles as their lives change.”
Margaret's work and leadership are authentic. She gained vulnerability, respect, and curiosity from her cross-cultural work on five continents. To remain current, she reinvents her business every two years and consistently seeks feedback on assignments won, delivered or lost. In frequent one-on-one meetings, she has given feedback to individuals on her team by describing two things they are doing well and one thing they can improve—and they are asked to give the same feedback to her.
Margaret shares her experience by inviting budding entrepreneurs to lunch or dinner and addressing their questions about pricing work, maintaining work-life flexibility, marketing their services, etc. She coaches CEOs on both personal issues and leadership challenges, enabling them to understand when to use visionary, pacesetting, democratic, or coaching leadership styles.
When asked what keeps FutureWork current, Margaret responds, "What has kept us relevant and successful is the ability to anticipate the future and to deliberately reinvent our business every two years. It keeps the excitement of the work and the passion for what we do always front and center, and our clients comment on that all the time.”
President & CEO
The FutureWork Institute
FutureWork Institute is a consulting team working for over 25 years in the area of diversity, leadership and career development, futurework and work/life assignments for major global organizations.