Learning to See

I was at Marc’s yesterday, brainstorming some more topics for workshops. One thing that came up, about which we did not have a clue on what a workshop about the topic would look like, was Learning to see things as they are, rather than how they should be. This capacity enables one to see the future(s) more clearly, and have an open dialogue within a group about the future. If you don’t know where you are, how do you know where you’re going to?

A number of books and techniques I’ve been studying over the past few months have the theme of learning to see. Value stream mapping and causal loop diagrams are two such techniques. Peter Schwartz writes in his book The art of the long view about discussing multiple futures, rather than just the companies’ official future. The book Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future discusses seeing things as they are as well.

While writing, I realize a workshop on Perspectives Nynke Fokma created would be about learning to see as well. Time to start working on that one.

Perhaps seeing things as they are is impossible, since seeing is done by perceiving. Nevertheless, striving to collectively learn too see, enables more robust and diverse forecasting.

Steve Denning concludes Use narrative as well as analysis with:

What hampers the creation of such new narratives is of course the corporate culture, which, as we saw in chapter 7 on Taming the Grapevine, holds the existing corporate story in place with an iron grip. The story of what the business is and how it works is not something that has to be argued for, but rather life as it is lived there, a matter-of-fact down-to-earth common sense apprehension of the obvious realities of the organization, which any wide-awake person would grasp if he would just open his eyes.

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