Futureproofing Organisations: An Interview with Kellie Tomney, Keynote Speaker and Future of Work Expert

Kellie Tomney, is a keynote speaker, Future of Work expert, and an international best-selling author of the book FUTUREPROOF YOU. Kellie focuses on futureproofing organisations, leaders, and careers through keynote speaking engagements and programs that energise and equip leaders and talent to thrive amidst change.  Below we chat to her a bit more about futureproofing organisations.

Q. How did your journey in futureproofing organisations begin? Can you share your personal experience and what led you to focus on this area?

Kellie: I am the futureproofing expert who didn’t futureproof themselves! I’d been so busy ‘fixing’ and ‘firefighting’ in my corporate roles – focused on futureproofing and over-delivering for organisations for over 15 years that I hadn’t futureproofed myself. 

The Global Financial Crisis and external influences caused unexpected career & personal changes. My Plan A disintegrated and I had no Plan B.

Since then, I found that millions of other high performing, high potential CEOs, Executives and Leaders (and thus, their organisations) haven’t truly prepared or positioned themselves for the future either, at a huge cost to them, their organisations & their lives. 

This truly set me onto Futureproofing and it is how I make my biggest positive impact in the world, by helping them make theirs.

Q. Why do founders, CEOs, and executives gravitate towards your expertise? What unique perspectives and insights do you bring to the table that resonate with them?

Kellie: My experience as a pioneer in the future of work, working globally and remotely since 2009, gives me unique perspectives on the challenges of global and local markets, hybrid and remote work environments that have become prevalent in recent times.

I truly get it. I understand the pressures and uncertainties that leaders face. I face them myself.

They are open to a different approach. They want to genuinely change the game in their organisation and their industry for a better future (today and tomorrow). There is alignment. I want the same thing. I’ve developed a Futureproofing Framework and strategies that work and we go on an energising adventure of unlocking ever-growth, it’s exciting not exhausting!

Q. Could you share some of the key learnings you’ve gained throughout your career in futureproofing organisations? What are the essential elements for futureproofing an organisation’s growth?

Kellie: I’ve learnt the huge leverage of combining profits and purpose, as engagement with a Futureproofing purpose truly propels profits. 

By working with CEOs, executives, and leaders, using the Futureproofing framework, we see extraordinary lifts in their business growth, strategy, performance, leadership, talent, purpose, positive impact, energy, productivity, and mindsets. 

I’ve witnessed firsthand the immense impact that futureproofing leaders and talent has on organisations growth. 

I found that equipping leaders with futureproofing strategies is the single biggest accelerator on an organisation’s success and that futureproofing the individuals within an organisation is key to futureproofing the organisation as a whole, especially in these changing times. 

Q. In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing an organisation can do to futureproof itself? 

Kellie: Futureproof you, your leaders and talent first. They impact everything.

You need to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. When leaders and talent are optimised, Futureproofed and fulfilled, they supercharge their organisation faster than anything else I’ve ever seen. 

Research from McKinsey has shown that companies in the top quartile of organisational health deliver roughly three times the returns to shareholders as those in the middle quartile. Yet, average employee engagement worldwide is a mere 20%, with 85% of the Australian workforce disengaged. Futureproofing superpowers higher engagement, growth & profitability.

Q. Who are your typical clients? What are the common challenges and goals they seek to address when they approach you for guidance in futureproofing their organisations?

Kellie: I work with CEOs, Executives, Leaders and Event and Conference organisers who are genuine in their desire to amplify positive impact in the now and future of work. They are the game changers who really want to make an impact in improving the world. They are well aware they can’t do the same things they’ve done in the past and get the growth results they need in this ever-changing new world.

CEOs, Executives and Leaders face the “Big 3 not enoughs”- not enough skills (skills shortage), exhaustion and burnout (time shortage) and not enough sustainable growth (growth shortage).

Their targets and performance expectations continually increase despite an increasing number of challenges and costs and rising uncertainties. Unfortunately, there is more turbulence to come and at a faster pace. They want to unlock new ways forward.

Futureproofing is the fastest way to unlock, innovate and leverage the whole for growth. Together we achieve far more growth with less. 

Q. As you continue your work, what would you like your legacy to be? How do you aspire to amplify positive impact globally and locally through your expertise and programs?

Kellie: To amplify positive impact, globally and locally. I put my money and expertise where my mouth is, I prioritise working with organisations that want to amplify their positive impact and who go on to improve others. 

Futureproofing works. It’s helped thousands globally to this point and I’ll continue my Keynote Speaking and Leadership Programs (online and in-person) and keep setting higher goals – it’s now 1 Million.

Q. Can you share a specific success story or case study where your futureproofing strategies and programs have had a significant impact on an organisation’s growth, profitability, and positive impact? What were the key factors that contributed to that success?

Together with my clients, we have unlocked 50% more potential being actualised from existing people, increased strategic delivery, improved female representation in leadership, enhanced cross-business collaboration, and led major innovation projects. 

By futureproofing leaders and talent, we have amplified a positive ripple effect impact that extends far beyond the organisation itself.

Q. What role does leadership play in futureproofing organisations, and how do you help leaders develop the necessary skills, mindset, and resilience to navigate uncertainties and drive success?

Kellie: We are the future. As CEOs and leaders we get to choose and create the future everyday. I am working with leaders on the big questions and solutions:

  • ‘What’s next’ for their organisation, their leadership, their leaders and talent and
  • How they can uniquely and most significantly, make the world a better place. 

Organisations can only grow to the level of growth of their leaders. The highest impact ways are to develop their futureproofing purpose, futureproofing plan and equip them with Futureproofing skills so they can make their highest value and impact, no matter what the future throws at them.

Q. With the increasing emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, how do you help organisations foster an inclusive and diverse culture that drives innovation and growth?

Kellie: More CEOs, Boards and Executives are concerned about Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) than ever before. That’s because investors, customers, communities and employees are.

I have a “Purpose propels People, Performance, Profits and Positive Impact” philosophy. 

When organisations Futureproof from my “Whole You” approach, especially in Leaders, Women in Leadership and diverse Talent, they unlock far more innovation, engagement and growth than they can imagine. This is the growth accelerator.

Q. Looking ahead, what emerging trends or developments do you foresee in the future of work and futureproofing organisations? How are you preparing yourself and your clients to adapt to these changes?

Kellie: We have a rapidly evolving landscape in our now and future of work with technology, automation and AI. This is the industrial revolution of our time & it’s happening very rapidly. It’s been said that 100% of roles will change and it’s becoming more visible now. 

I recommend being very conscious and discerning in how you use AI. The opportunity is that people do want more meaningful work and to learn and grow. Artificial Intelligence is just that. Artificial. The higher value work will be more Human Intelligence. I work with clients to develop more Human Intelligence. Social Intelligence. Creative Intelligence. Spiritual Intelligence. Whole Intelligence.  

With my client CEOs and Leaders, we futureproof their organisations by proactively creating the purposeful organisation of the future, prioritising the most valuable work, proactively developing leaders, women in leadership, talent and the workforce with the future of work skills and activating futureproofing mindsets, so they are truly ever-growing in new ways to amplify their most positive impact in the world. 

Kellie Tomney’s expertise and passion for futureproofing organisations shine through in her remarkable journey and impactful work. With her extensive experience, unique perspectives, and proven strategies, Kellie has helped thousands of CEOs, executives, and leaders navigate the complexities of the ever-changing business landscape. 

By focusing on futureproofing leaders and fostering a purpose-driven culture, Kellie empowers organisations to unlock their true potential, drive growth, enhance performance, and make their most positive impact in the world. As the future of work continues to evolve, Kellie remains at the forefront, equipping her clients with the essential skills, mindsets, and resilience to thrive amidst uncertainty and shape a better future.