Future Searches

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Prepare for TAKE-OFF when organizations tap into future search processes. I was trained in large group facilitations and future search methodology by Marvin Weisbord and influenced by Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science, along with Robert Jacobs, author of Real-time Strategic Change. Using chaos as a leverage for change was a strategy I knew schools needed to face the challenges of external forces while activating new potential. I wanted to know HOW to tap into the power of THAT potential even as we struggle with the pressures of present realities. I have used these strategies in state-wide planning events as well as individual districts with schools ready to engage in the work of shifting into future tense with their communities.





Future Search Methodology is a fifty-year proven process used by organizations when they want commitment from all stakeholders and when the most important thing is to generate energy for action. Future search can deliver energy, shared vision, action and can be used to make decisions. It is a strategy engaging stakeholders in thinking from 30,000 feet, not four inches. WARNING: Future Search cannot deliver action without good follow-up structures in place. It is NOT an activity but a concerted, intentional approach to created pervasive shared visions ready to activate into reality TODAY!

Strengths:


  • Everyone with a stake in the issue is in the room, which produces a rich mixture of information and ideas;
  • Proposals are more likely to be acted upon if all stakeholders feel committed to them;
  • People are encouraged to explore what they feel about an issue as well, as what they think about it.
  • The event is designed to help participants understand and appreciate the agendas of others, which helps them to enlarge the common ground they share with others. It is hoped that if a shared vision is created it will inspire participants into the future;
  • People are often energised by seeing that complex issues can be tackled when the whole system is present, when they can identify common ground with other people, develop a shared vision and agree upon concrete first steps of actions.


Weaknesses:


  • Needs a lot of time and energy to organize;
  • Needs careful follow-up to support action groups at a time when organisers are usually pretty exhausted.


Resources