Future Search Network – Northern Ireland Learning Exchange, June 2005

Appendix : “The Wall”: Principles, Actions/Interventional/Behaviors, and Unresolved Issues

From the Day Two Reality Dialogue

 

Creating the framework/setting the stage

Category

Aspiration to be democratic

Principles

The expertise is in the room

Principles

Understand the degree of dependency in each system and what will work in each situation

Principles

Understand the follow-up dynamics and help design processes which will continually renew the energy and strengthen the ripples

Principles

Walk the line between selling the methodology and being objective about it’s application in a given situation

Principles

Whole system in the room

Principles

Whole systems thinking

Principles

Helping sponsors (and self!) to know when FS is appropriate

Principles

Build in follow-up: (1) “Hat system, jury group, monitoring group, champion group – makes recommendations relative to FS outcomes; (2) integrate form and function organizational system redesign; (3) town hall event – report back in large groups after 2 months

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Challenging /clarifying with client/planning group on stakeholder system – open systems

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Clarify expectations of different behaviors needed

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Clarify ground rules in working together

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Clarify role and expectations of the facilitator(s) in entire FS process

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Clarify tasks: ask questions: e.g., what are you going to do in the next 4 weeks?

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Clarity about boundaries of the system(s)

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Clarity about what we are contracting to do/purpose

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Clarity about where authority lies in the client system

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Clarity on process of engagement with client

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Build follow-up activities during planning process

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Continuity of involvement of facilitator in planning and “doing” the FS

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Describe your role and their role at the beginning

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Don’t over-explain the framework at the beginning

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Example: action plan includes next steps, owners, meeting schedule, progress reporting

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Example: conference followed by holidays did not allow immediate follow-up

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Example: schedule regular progress discussions with sponsors

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Example: use an FS “Ombudsman” to keep vision in front of organization

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Facilitator should contract in 3 parts: Planning, Facilitating, Follow-up

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Familiarity with the client culture/system

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

FS readiness kit (see website?)

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Insist on right physical space

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Make sure next steps and people committed to them are clear before FS closes

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Orientation meeting

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Planning: use of time – for client to engage and take ownership

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Remind group of the guidelines

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

When scheduling, allow time for all 3: planning, conference, follow-up

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Model the principle throughout planning, such as standing back. “Be” as you are in FS (action/intervention)

Actions/interventions/Behaviors

 

 

 

Enabling and empowering

Category

The continuous nurturing of leadership throughout the system that we are working with (principle)

Principles

Be supportive

Principles

All ideas are valid unless destructive behavior

Principles

Believe in the capability of the group

Principles

Catalyst

Principles

Client owns process

Principles

Constant change is a positive opportunity

Principles

Horizontal collaborative working

Principles

Keeping responsibility with client

Principles

Strengthen the ripples

Principles

Sustainable development

Principles

The key is helping to break the dependency culture (within the public sector) to engender taking responsibility for actions people can do things about

Principles

The people involved (stakeholders) are the best ones to create their own future.

Principles

To create conditions using Future Search principles where client can do the work

Principles

Together – collaboration – we can make a change

Principles

Trust process: resist temptation to “fix”

Principles

Encourage self-management: are you ready to move on?

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Model constructive intervention

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

 

 

Exploration vs. resolution

Category

Explore the whole before acting on any part

Principles

Future focus and common ground

Principles

 

 

Holding the space

Category

Hold as our north start and southern cross what individuals and the system are ready, willing and able to do without permission or negotiation (principle)

Principles

Content/process “expert” resource in the planning – different to FS (3 days)

Principles

Safe Risks: Supporting people to be safe enough to take risks

Principles

Know when to walk away from a potential client

Principles

Guardian of the process – advise and influence during the planning (halo symbol)

Principles

Our vision is limitless (shooting star symbol)

Principles

Source of energy and optimism

Principles

If you have to save time in the FS agenda, DO NOT take it off action plans

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Observe/pay attention to energy levels

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Only intervene in groups if asked?

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

 

 

Integrity

Category

Adhere to the integrity of the FS methodology (principle)

Principles

Be rigorous (principle)

Principles

Intention is to be authentic and consistent with FS; illustrate FS during planning (principle)

Principles

We act with integrity; we communicate with intention (principle)

Principles

Humility: allowing self-management is more important to you than your reputation as a facilitator; no solutions; open to the future

Principles

Sustaining trust and clarity between facilitators and clients

Principles

 

 

Listening

Category

Mirroring

Principles

Have a light touch (“Why do something when you can just sit there!” – Marv Weisbord?)

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Walk around and listen; intervene if necessary

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

 

 

Openness

Category

Be honest about the resources needed to deliver the process (principle)

Principles

Be realistic (principle)

Principles

Admitting to mistakes

Principles

Admitting to success

Principles

Be able to articulate the benefit and strengths of using a new paradigm of decision-making – not just FS but the on-going engagement afterwards and the associated progress

Principles

Being honest about implications for sponsor, i.e., follow-up

Principles

Model open and trusting communication

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Model open honest communication

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

 

 

Self-management

Category

People are responsible for their own outcomes – not the facilitator (principle)

Principles

Trust the process but tune in

Principles

Co-facilitators’ “code system”/phrases

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Don’t become a participant

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Don’t get trapped into solving problems/arguments

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

In planning phase, model self-management

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Rigorous debriefs with loads of honesty

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Stay neutral, stay cool

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Stick to the principles

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

Transparency in working with another FS facilitator

Actions/Interventions/Behaviors

 

 

Sharing knowledge

Category[1]

Coach and mentor the formal leadership within the system (Principle)

Principles

We openly share resources, ideas, techniques, experiences, etc. (principle)

Principles

Acting as internal consultants with each other on FS work

Principles

Continually learning

Principles

Shared learning – inquiry

Principles

 

 

Unresolved Issues

How big is the potato? (This was a running joke about types of potatoes, but included here for the sake of reminiscence.)

Unresolved Issues

Would be good to have a really good handle on the cost/benefit analysis of using this process over conventional processes that go beyond the anecdotal

Unresolved Issues

 



[1] Note from the compiler: When I got home, I had a stack of strips of paper from “The Wall.” This document is my best effort to relate the strips to the categories, underlying principles, and illustrative actions, interventions and behaviors. Any mistakes in relating one to the other are completely my own, and any attempt to re-organize the document is completely welcome.