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Level of process: 
Intent or purpose: 
To enable a group to share their different perspectives concerning the implications of a future situation that their organisation or group is moving toward.<br><br> To enable the individual members to share their thinking about the implications of future developments for the current and up-coming operations of the organisation. <br><br> To empower the group by enabling them to see their commonality in facing the future.
Used as component of: 
To enable a group to begin to grasp the implications of a future situation for their operation as they move toward that situation.
Recommended size of group: 
Optimal amount of time needed: 
3 - 4 hours
Level of participation: 
Very high?the group is working individually, in small groups, and as a total group.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
In and of itself the process is not difficult, however the facilitator will need to focus on keeping the group moving forward and making sure that (s)he retains the group?s confidence throughout.
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Facilitation skills required
Resources Needed: 
A ?sticky wall? or something like that so you can put a lot of data on. Otherwise a large wall where you can use A5 post-its or A5 cards with tape loops. In addition you need: several hundred A5 cards in four different colours (number depends on the size of the group). Mixed colours, broad tip magic markers?enough for everyone.
Pre-Work Required: 
Preparation of flip charts, creating wall space with four columns, each with a title.

1. Good morning<br>
2. Who I am for those of you I have not met. (Use name tents if
3. Introduce your organisation<br>
4. What we are going to do
This morning we are going to look at the current operating situation
of our organisation. However, we are going to do that with
some understanding of what we are anticipating for our work in
the years of [whatever future point has been designated]. The
idea is to use our anticipations of the needs of the organisation at
that point in the future to inform our grasp of our current situation
and where we might need to focus our concerns in the
nearer term future. We are going to move through a four-step
process that looks like this.<br>
--&#61472; A brainstorm of what is the current working situation of the
-- Then we will journey in time to [insert designated time] to
share our intuitions about what we feel will be the working situation
of the organisation at that time.<br>
--&#61472;Then we will come back to today and ask ourselves, ?What
are the implications for today of what we see as the working
situation of the organisation at that time??<br>
We will do these steps relatively quickly and not discuss our
individual responses beyond dealing with any questions of clarity.
The idea here is to trust our intuitions and each other. The
final steps will involve a lot of discussion so we need to quickly
do the first three steps, which give us the raw material for our
--The fourth and final step will happen in two parts. We do
the first part in small groups. We will ask each group to
look at the current situation of the organisation and the current
implications list and identify two or three crucial ?gaps?
between these two lists. Then they would look at the implications
of these ?gaps? for the organisation?s work.<br><br>
I thought that an example from another organisation of all this
might be helpful.
<br>A characteristic of the organisation today is
?Board, Secretariat, Members roles not defined?<br>
A future characteristic is
?Active, committed membership?<br>
A current implication of the future characteristics is <br>
?Well functioning communication between office staff, member
organisations and the Board of Directors?<br>
The gap is<br>
?No clarity on role of members, Board, Secretariat and their
functional relations?<br><br>

Then we will come back together, share our work in the
small groups, and do a reflection on the general significance
of the gaps and their implications for the organisation.<br><br>
Any questions<br><br>
All right, let?s get to work.<br>
I want each of you to answer this first question:<br>
<i>?What are some characteristics of the current working situation
of the organisation??</i> I want you to think, negative--
positive, strengths?weaknesses, good at?not so good at,
easy/proficient at?not so easy/not so proficient at, etc. In
addition, we want practical/concrete things?something like
?not very effective? is not helpful while ?difficult inter section
communications? tells us something.<br>
Try to get half a dozen or so of these, then look over the list,
and decide which two or three are crucial for the operation of
the organisation. We want to put these crucial ones on a
_____ coloured card (decide on which colour to use for this).
Use a marker and WRITE BIG/5-7 WORDS/ONE ITEM
PER CARD.<br><br>
Now we want to do some time travel.<br>
Do visualization for [insert future date].<br><br>
Now answer this question. ?What do you intuit will be the
working situation of the organisation in the context of the
[insert future date]? Try to list at least 6 or 7 ideas.<br><br>

From your list select the three or four that you feel most confident
about (you would bet money on these being true for
[insert future date]. Put these on these on the ____coloured
cards and get them out on the wall. Get them on the wall by
collecting them and reading them out as you put them up
one-by-one so that everyone has a chance to hear and see
them. Answer questions of clarity.<br><br>
Now looking at what we have for [insert future date] answer
this question, ?What kind of organisation do we need to be
today if we are going to be that kind of organisation in
[insert future date]?? Again, try to get 5 or 6 insights, pick
the most crucial, put those on (third colour) cards, and get
them on the wall. Answer questions of clarity.<br><br>
Divide into four small groups (ensure a mix of people). In
the small groups, you should do the following.
1. Look at the current situation and the implications for
today from [insert future date] and discuss where you see
differences. Out of that discussion push to identify 2 or 3
crucial ?gaps? in the current situation of the organisation.<br>
2. As part of identifying the ?gaps,? say what you see as
potential implication(s) of the gap for the immediate future
of the organisation.<br>
Put these ?gaps? and their implications on the cards provided
and have someone ready to report to the larger
Put your work on the wall..<br><br>
Have each group report on their work and answer any
questions of clarity..<br><br>
Do the following reflection:<br>
a. What words or phrases have caught your attention?<br>
b. What images have come to mind?<br>
c. Where did you start to feel excited?<br>
d. Where did you start to feel anxious?<br>
e. Where have you heard something like this before?<br>
f. Which one is a major challenge?<br>
g. What one would be an ?easy fix??<br>
h. Which one, if you dealt with it, might be catalytic?<br>
i. In terms of action, which one would you make your
first priority? Second priority? Third priority?<br>
j. Stepping back to look at the whole picture, how would
you summarize in a few words the current situation of the
k. Again stepping back, how would you talk about the
general implication of this picture for the organisation?<br>
Finally, if you were ?God of the organisation? and there
were no blocks, what would be your three-point plan for
the organisation?<br><br>
That is it.<br>
I will produce and distribute the documentation (if you are
doing it).<br>
Thanks for hard work and patience.<br><br>
Have wall space set up with
four columns but put up column
titles as you do the work.<br><br>
Have A5 cards and markers
on table for name tents.<br><br>
Have questions on flip chart
Have ground rules posted if you
are recommending some to the
Have question on flip chart..<br>.<br>
Have cards and markers ready..<br>.<br>
Have these three instructions
on cards to post..<br>.<br>
Have question on flip chart..<br>.<br>
Have coloured cards ready.<br>.<br>
Put up column title in four column
and place cards in the four
Have question on flip chart..<br>.<br>
Put up column title and place
cards in the third column..<br>.<br>
Put up column title and place
the cards in the first column..<br><br>
Divide small groups?ensure
mix of people

How flexible is the process?: 
This process can be adapted to deal with various types of organisations or groups as they consider what changes the future is requiring of them.<br><br> Put up column title and put cards in the second column.
Follow-Up Required: 
Ensuring documentation
Jim Campbell
Derived from: 
History of Development: 

Deeloped by Jim Campbell

April 2007, Number 4 The International Association of Facilitators hppt:// Formore information about ?TheMethodsWorkbook? contact the European Regional Representative at Publication of this method by the IAF should not be understood to be either an endorsement or recommendation of the method.
License Model: 
Free (or unattributable)