Future Search The Method

These are the notes taken by Shem Cohen of the June 24 "mini" Learning Eschange

Question: How to get a local network going and how to sustain it?

Rick's observations from 2 local network experiences (Phila and Boston)
"In neither case did we lay out that we had to get work to get
together -- we had a commitment to keep a group meeting... hold the space...
keep the vision.. desire for colleagueship and learning and the vision
upfront...AND-- over 3 years, many opportunities did arrive for people to
work together on projects..."

It's also true that the key bond for local network members is real
work/actual tasks relating to FS.

Question: How to get visibility? Engage local leaders?

Shem expressed that this conversation mirror's the NY group's recent
dialogue about who we should be, what we wish to pursue, and how we can
generate FS opportunities/opportunities to work together as like minded
colleagues who wish to cooperate under FS principles.

In terms of generating FS work-- "can't sell FS, people buy it" (Marv)

Question: What would it look like to bring colleagues/clients to a local
meeting who've used FS and interested in exploring it more deeply?

Shem relayed NY group's strategy-- get a list of people from NY
city area who've been trained and are internal consultants. Invite them to a
meeting where we can all explore how they've used/seen FS implemented in
their organizations; and create a presence of a local network.

Elaine relayed how she helped a planning group recognize the positive
outcomes of a FS during a 90 minute orientation:

She first presented a well-defined description of this group's issue. It was
a concern that they had in common and that no one had the solution to.

Then she put people into small groups and said:
Within context of your particular concern/issue, discuss the following four

  1. What if you did nothing? What would happen in the next 10 years?
  2. What if you work on this internally, not going outside of your team or
  3. What if you work on this with other people in the industry?
  4. What if you work on it with a variety of stakeholders, inside and outside
    the industry?

The group became clear that they/their industry couldn't solve it

Key Point: help people project their own futures in an orientation
format. This approach shares responsibility, offers people (in an orientation
format) to choose what they want to do.

Nancy talked about how presenting at conferences used to be central to
connecting with people who would champion FS, lead to potential

Discussion how there are many trained people around, and people who have
had wonderfully successful experiences with FS -- How can they become
greater advocates within their spheres of influence?


How can we help clients become fs advocates when, in fact, they are not
thinking about promoting us regardless of how fantastic the outcomes?

Local networks-- one key role -- support integration of new people with
seasoned people -- important to build on discussions of the past, move
knowledge forward...

Claudia in Ottawa started to share a story of her local network -- we
all want to hear it, but ran out of time.

Everyone expressed how pleased we all were with connecting and how much
we enjoyed the call

Sandra and Marv will get dates on the list for monthly calls


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