Co-creative dialogue

There are two ways of learning: learning from the past and learning from the future.

The first one is common for strategy, planning, fixing problems, capturing and managing knowledge. This works if you already know what you want and where to find it.

However, in fast changing societies the future is increasingly unpredictable and no one knows for sure what will happen next. Then, learning from the future becomes a requisite for business.

For instance, today we use technologies that weren’t invented 10 years ago. And the next 10 years will most likely differ even more from the last 10 years.

So, how do we learn from the future?

First, we have to move away from the past-oriented thinking.

Our overwhelming workload makes it difficult to take time off and change our thinking. Unless we consciously shift our attention to the future, we make decisions based on old habits and judgments. We learn from the past.

So, the first step to learn from the future is to properly set time off to open our mind, heart, and will. The future is less about facts than the past, and can be shaped based on our intentions.

For example, I recently facilitated 3-month of co-creative dialogue with Eastvantage, a business process outsourcing company in Manila. Executives and senior managers met for 3 hours every two weeks, culminating in a 2-day offsite workshop.

The co-creative dialogue had no agenda. Instead, it set time off for sharing thinking as well as feeling, co-creating internal and external solutions the group had not thought of before.

“Co-creative dialogue allowed us to stand still and truly listen to our colleagues views on the future, for themselves, society and the company” said Joeri Timp, co-founder of Eastvantage. “It was refreshing to how each team member puts his energy behind the company plans when we recognize our own intentions and believes in these plans. In fact these plans became our own plans.”

Another company, an executive search firm in Manila, used co-creative dialogue for a strategic visioning session. In addition to doing well ($15 million revenue goal), the strategy now also incorporates elements of doing good (taking community responsibility through providing meaningful jobs in a shared economy).

This was only possible as each member honestly reflected on the questions: What difference do you want the company to make and how does that matter to you?

Every future is created twice: once in our mind, then in the physical world. By start paying attention to our intention, we also begin to learn from the future.

 

There are two ways of learning: learning from the past and learning from the future.

The first one is common for strategy, planning, fixing problems, capturing and managing knowledge. This works if you already know what you want and where to find it.

However, in fast changing societies the future is increasingly unpredictable and no one knows for sure what will happen next. Then, learning from the future becomes a requisite for business.

For instance, today we use technologies that weren’t invented 10 years ago. And the next 10 years will most likely differ even more from the last 10 years.

So, how do we learn from the future?

First, we have to move away from the past-oriented thinking.

Our overwhelming workload makes it difficult to take time off and change our thinking. Unless we consciously shift our attention to the future, we make decisions based on old habits and judgments. We learn from the past.

So, the first step to learn from the future is to properly set time off to open our mind, heart, and will. The future is less about facts than the past, and can be shaped based on our intentions.

For example, I recently facilitated 3-month of co-creative dialogue with Eastvantage, a business process outsourcing company in Manila. Executives and senior managers met for 3 hours every two weeks, culminating in a 2-day offsite workshop.

The co-creative dialogue had no agenda. Instead, it set time off for sharing thinking as well as feeling, co-creating internal and external solutions the group had not thought of before.

“Co-creative dialogue allowed us to stand still and truly listen to our colleagues views on the future, for themselves, society and the company” said Joeri Timp, co-founder of Eastvantage. “It was refreshing to how each team member puts his energy behind the company plans when we recognize our own intentions and believes in these plans. In fact these plans became our own plans.”

Another company, an executive search firm in Manila, used co-creative dialogue for a strategic visioning session. In addition to doing well ($15 million revenue goal), the strategy now also incorporates elements of doing good (taking community responsibility through providing meaningful jobs in a shared economy).

This was only possible as each member honestly reflected on the questions: What difference do you want the company to make and how does that matter to you?

Every future is created twice: once in our mind, then in the physical world. By start paying attention to our intention, we also begin to learn from the future.

 

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