I contributed a case study to this book based on some work I did with HopeLink, a start up in Silicon Valley during the heady internet boom of 2000. See Chapter 5 entitled Find Common Ground, page 85 of the Weisbord and Janoff book.
The acceleration technique of backcasting
from the future creates an opportunity for people to tap into their
deepest hopes and heartfelt dreams for the future. When a meeting calls
for future scenarios
you can ask people to put themselves X years in the future and imagine
their dreams as it they have been realize; describe structure, policies
and relationships in the present tense; and look back to the single
most important step they had to take x years earlier to get started.
This book is much more than a menu for how to run meetings more
effectively. It is filled with strikingly simple and
practical steps to make a gathering of any kind more humane and
But in a deeper context, it embodies a particular theory
and philosophy of leadership and planning that recognize that every
person does the best they can with what they have, and that people come
equipped with the capacity for extraordinary cooperation if given a
chance to use their own experience and wisdom.
Gather your team and get more work done. Release from locked up thinking and elicit the best insight, ideas and perspectives from your team and decide on immediate course of action. This program is ideal for high priority projects, initiatives, and year end planning and can be customized for any organization that needs to accelerate results quickly.
** Making connections with the right people ** Learning specifics of the business ** Obtaining clarification of expectations ** Clarifying and understanding cultural identity ** Identifying key job fit issues at this level
Identifying learning priorities
Identifying executive's risk profile
Identifying cultural alignment issues
Identifying corporate job expectations and devising 90 day strategies
Note: Meg is one of my favorite thought leaders of our time. This is an adaptation of the Epilogue in Leadership and the New Science, Second Edition, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 1996
Twelve years after preparing the Second Edition of Leadership in the New Science, I’m still trying to come to terms with the experience of seeing, feeling, tasting and working earnestly from a new paradigm while living in the old one. And I’m more concerned than ever that we understand how crucial it is that we stay together and support one another.
I was in this work a few years before I was able to identify its real nature. I realized that I and others weren’t asking people simply to adopt some new approaches to leadership or to think about organizations in a few new ways. What we were really asking, and what was also being asked of us, was that we change our thinking at the most fundamental level, that of our world view. The dominant world view of Western culture–the world as machine–doesn’t help us to live well in this world any longer. We have to see the world differently if we are to live in it more harmoniously.
Once I understood the nature of the work, it helped me relax and be more generous. I learned that people get frightened if asked to change their world view. And why wouldn’t they? Of course people will get defensive; of course they might be intrigued by a new idea, but then turn away in fear. They are smart enough to realize how much they would have to change if they accepted that idea. I no longer worry that if I could just find the right words or techniques, or describe multiple case studies, I could convince people. I no longer expect a new world view to be embraced quickly; I don’t know if I’ll see it take root in my lifetime. I also know that people are being influenced from sources far beyond anyone’s control. I know many people who’ve been changed by events in their lives, not by words they read in a book.
These people have been changed by life’s great creative force, chaos. One of the gifts offered by this new world view is a clearer description of life’s cyclical nature. The mechanistic world view promised us lives of continual progress. Since we were in control and engineering it all, we could pull ourselves straight uphill, scarcely faltering. But life doesn’t work that way, and this new world view confirms what most of us knew–no rebirth is possible without moving through a dark passage. Dark times are normal to life; there’s nothing wrong with us when we periodically plunge into the abyss.
Here's a tool or framework from my Chasm teaching days. Enjoy.
1. Who are your target customers?
2. What is the compelling reason to buy? or What is the value proposition?
3. What is the whole product or service
4. Who are your partners and allies?
5. What is your whole product pricing?
6. What is your whole product distribution?
7. Who or what is your competition?
8. What is your positioning?
9. What is your next target after this segment?