Imaging the Future

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Identification
Level of process: 
Application
Intent or purpose: 
To create a series of images of the future as a means of exploring possible actions and to be excited of creating a series of images of the future.
Used as component of: 
This can be used as part of a strategic planning process, a vision workshop, project planning and organizational development workshop
Types of Participants: 
People comfortable with using intuitions will be better prepared to do this workshop
Recommended size of group: 
26-50
Optimal amount of time needed: 
3 hours
Howto
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
A vision of the organization
Level of participation: 
High and it uses both intuitive and rational thinking
Ideal Conditions: 
Workshop setting
Potential Pitfalls: 
Participants uncomfortable with the art / image part of the exercise.
How is success evaluated: 
The vision is agreed to.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
Some level of trust is required.
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Facilitation skills required
Facilitator Personality Fit: 
Not to risk adverse.
Setting and Materials: 
The set of pictures should be photocopied for each participant.
Resources Needed: 
Tables and chairs, Flipcharts, and markers
Pre-Work Required: 
A focus question should be created betweent the facilitator and the management team.
Procedures: 

<b>Context</b><br>
We want to look at our individual images of the future and see if what those images tell us. We will be using a technique used by Garth Morgan in his book Imagination: The art of Creative Management.We will be using a lot of creativity and our own imagination for this exercise. The exercise can be used in a number of ways. It can look at any relationship, your style of teaching or managing, the management team, clients, suppliers, etc. <br>
<i>Note: ?The Future? should be a more concrete issue. In the New Learning Paradigm Mini Conference, the Issue was how to create the conditions in a company in which learning takes place without the need for a training department.</i>
<br><br>

<b>Steps</b><br>
1. Turn to page ____ in your workbook <i>(see file under downloads)</i>. Look at the images on the page <i>(This might be supplemented with an overhead sheet.)</i><br>
2. I want you to think of the future, not some idealized utopia but one you would really like to see. Think of any image that comes to mind about that future.<br>
3. I would like each of us to draw a picture about the future, as you would like to see it. You do not need to be a great artist. We are only interested in the ways you see the future.<br>
4. Have everyone put up his or her image. We want to spend some time reflecting on these images. <br>
a. Have every one explain their image.<br>
b. Do you have any questions to any of your colleagues about what they put on the wall?<br>
c. Which image struck you in some way? <i>(From this question on you might want to capture the answers on two flipcharts one for elements and themes and one for future directions.)</i><br>
d. Which images have elements in common?<br>
e. What are some common themes in the images?<br>
f. What are some unique elements?<br>
g. What are we saying our hopes for the future are?<br>
h. What do you hear us calling for?<br>
5. <i>Review the note taken on the two flipcharts. Ask for each flipchart,</i> What are additional items you would like to add?<br>
6. We would like to now organize these into similar images of the future. <i>Give the first item on the first list a mark such as +. Ask,</i> What other items are the same kind of vision as this one? <i>Give the similar vision elements the same mark +.</i><br>
7. <i>Mark the next unmarked item with a different mark and repeat the question.</i><br>
8. <i>Continue this process until all of the items are marked.</i><br>
9. We now want to give each of the sets of marked items a name. I would like use to give three word titles <i>(This can be optional but I find it useful in creating memorable titles.)</i>. The third word is a noun and the object of the vision. The first two word are adjectives so you end up with something like: Regular Management Reviews or Anti-Drug Teen Posters.<br>
10. <i>Go through the list and have the group give titles. Put the titles on a separate flipchart.</i><br>
11. Here is what we say is the vision of this group ? <i>read the list of names.</i><br>
12. Are there any additions or changes that we should make?<br><br>
<b>Conclusion</b><br>
1. We want to take a look at the session. What is an activity we have done?<br>
2. What was fun?<br>
3. What was less fun?<br>
4. What have you learned?<br>
5. What are the next steps for us?<br><br>
<i>Thank the group and move to the next item on the agenda.</i>
<br>

How flexible is the process?: 
Very. You can create your own set of images. You can use parables or folktales instead of images. Any toptic can be used as long as it is vision oriented.
Follow-Up Required: 
If this is used for a plan then the next step would be necessary.
File attachments: 
AttachmentSize
Microsoft Office document icon PICTURES_Exercise.doc167.5 KB
Background
Developer: 
Jon Jenkins
Derived from: 
This exercise was adapted from Imagination: Gareth Morgan's <i>The Art of Creative Management</i>, pgs 22-39.
History of Development: 

It was developed as an alternative for a more standard vision workshop

References: 
Morgan, G., (1993). Imaginization: The Art of Creative Management, Newberry Park, CA: Sage Publication.
License Model: 
Free (or unattributable)
Suppliers
Creators: 
Trainers: 
Namesort ascending City Country
Spectrum Management Denver United States
CFI Syllab Inc. Montreal Canada
Consultants: 
Namesort ascending City Country
worksmarts Tuckahoe United States
Spectrum Management Denver United States
CFI Syllab Inc. Montreal Canada
Online: 
Supporters: