What is Futurizer?

Valo Future has developed a new concept for designing a successful tomorrow. But what is it in practice? Let's find out by interviewing Tiitta Vaulos, the CEO of Valo Future.

Can you explain to me in one sentence what Futurizer is?

Well, this is a difficult one (laughter.) It's so many things, but let's try.  

Futurizer is an exciting combination of comprehensive information, participatory methods and visual management control maps, with which we coach, support and/or consult organizations to build a successful tomorrow: a winning customer experience or a future-proof strategy and successful services of tomorrow. 

So what does it include exactly?

It has three important elements, which are 

  1. Existing and crystallized knowledge about the future and customer  
    We offer a huge amount of knowledge about the changes in the operating environment and people, as well as about the growing expectations of customers. There are hundreds of sources in our research and their information is crystallized into various visual frameworks and playing cards. In this way, we immediately have a solid foundation, and we can only look for additional understanding for the necessary points. 
  2. Exciting methods 
    As a consultancy, we've seen how even big change projects have got stalled or stuck in silos. Getting everyone involved is essential for things to start happening. We have examined the latest principles of change management, developed several inspiring participatory methods based on that - like gamification methods and inspirational tools.
  3. Action instead of talk as the end result 
    Of course, simply getting excited together is not enough, but you always need action too. Every choice turns into actions, preferably agile ones. We truly want to leave behind actions, not just words.

Renewal has to be exciting in order to succeed.

That readily-available information sounds interesting. So the idea is that information alone is enough?

Ready-made information is often eye-opening in itself and gives an overall picture of what is changing. However, information is always enriched with the understanding and learnings of one's own organization.

Organizations often carry out new research projects. Having created deep insight – from customer and future information – for more than 15 years, I see that it is not always necessary. But when it is, you also have to direct it to exactly the right place. Ready-made information helps here as well, and we can immediately get deep with the additional research and investigations.

What about the methods. You mentioned gamification, how does it show? 

We could talk about gamification for hours, it's an extremely interesting aspect of change management and we learn more about it all the time. Especially in trainings and development days, the spirit of play is very strongly on display.  

In short, gamification of the Futurizer is visible in solutions invented together in teams and sometimes also in a small competition - in the desire to win. That's what an organization aims for too, winning. In addition, gamification is utilized with playing cards and steering maps. 

You mentioned a steering map. What is it?

We believe in immediate results, and the steering maps are just for that. Together with our customers, we often shape the recipe for a winning customer experience and the actions that promote it into a visible poster on the wall, by which we guide what we do in everyday life.

Same goes for changes in the operating environment. Then a spectacular future map is created to guide the implementation of the strategy or the services of tomorrow. Or sometimes in large organizations it is enough that the map conveys the message and collects additional ideas for the entire staff. 

Therefore we also believe in the power of visualization. Steering map thinking also has a strong theoretical background on how important it is to grasp the big picture and then move forward in an agile way, constantly learning more. 

So have you completely abandoned Powerpoint presentations?

Well, if it were up to me, I would forget about the PPT presentations. There are just too many of them and even the most exciting conclusions are forgotten in the midst of them. But yes, PPT compilations are often still necessary and in our use they also crystallize the final results and the next actions, as neatly as possible.

You talk about co-designing. Does it also work online?

Research has shown that ideating and doing things together is the most effective when you are present. That's why we consciously set out to do something concrete together. It very powerful. But the corona lockdowns that were in effect during our product development certainly meant that a large part of the implementations have been done on the online platform. Nowadays, we often combine both offline and online.

Wow, it certainly includes a lot of things. Who is Futurizer for?

We can be of help to everyone who wants to promote customer experience, a winning strategy or tomorrow's successful services by, for example, the following means: 

  • By creating a comprehensive view of customers' growing expectations and/or the changing operating environment  
  • By clarifying together your own recipe for a winning customer experience 
  • By priming a winning strategy or successful services of tomorrow 
  • By making everyone excited about future-orientation

Isn't there also a CX Toolbox on sale for your own use?

That is correct! Our idea is to make renewal exciting and even easy. That's why our tools remain available to the customer, e.g. after coaching or workshops. Playing cards, manuals, maps and canvases help in everyday life, e.g. in constantly updating the future and steering maps. And if you feel that you can manage without us, the customer experience toolkit can also be purchased separately. We genuinely want to support renewal and the growth of the customer's own competencies. Of course, there is the risk that we won't be needed anymore (laughter)!

Can you finish off by saying why the concept has been done? 

The idea was born over the years as a consultant and creating a deep customer and future understanding. It makes sense to bring the best ready-made information to the foundation stone and get started right away. And instead of starting, inspire and get everyone involved right away. Instead of huge mega-projects, proceed agilely and achieve immediately visible actions. 

Many are now also suffering from change fatigue. Renewal must be exciting in order to succeed! 

Tiitta Vaulos

Future strategist, CEO

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