Future Search LO10100

Julie Beedon (julie@vistabee.win-uk.net)
Sat, 21 Sep 1996 03:58:15

Replying to LO10032 --

I am doing a future search this week with Dick and Emily Axelrod and Susan
Dupre for the Diocese of Conencticut. There are 180 people here so we are
working a modified version of the process using real time strategic change
principles.... The purpose of the conference is to discern a future for
the Diocese and they are a very fragmented, diverse group.

Thomas notes:
>> Future Search focusses on identifying common ground rather than
>>resolving conflicts. Apparently the tasks
>>in the Future Search conference generates a productive group dynamic
>>overcoming the limitations in say Organisational Development. Is this
>>really true. How? What is your explanation for this phenomenon? What is
>>the role of conflicts here?

Emily and I were talking about this this afternoon having watched the
group work their way through some tricky territory...

* firstly to be working whole systems means that you would be seeking to
embrace the diversity and polarity within the group - somehow to resolve
all conflicts would be to deny the simultaneous conflicting realities of
their experiences

* people may walk away from the dialogue and experience with a profound
understanding of why someone sees something differently and why they would
therefore choose a different path and yet still disagree with them at the
level of sharing that view. The potential conflict thus still exists and
yet the manifestation of that may be different - we can and do find common
ground which resolves the 'blockage' the confict creates and yet retains
the ability to recognise the differences and celebrate them for the
potential balance they will provide as we move forward with action...

In some respects it is the process of a future search which does this - it
is also some of the underlying principles. One which stands out for me is
the principle of creating an environment within which people can hold true
to their own reality - once people start to deny their reality for the
purpose of resolving conflict then what is created is an illusion of
resolution which will reemerge... By giving voice to all realities and
creating a space wherein they can be heard, synthesised with others where
possible and also held as legitimate unresolved differences creates a
differnt form of resolution ... and by building a basis for moving forward
creates an environment for further dialogue and creation of shared


Julie Beedon <julie@vistabee.win-uk.net>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>