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📰 🍄🐚 Organizational Mycology – May 31, 2023

Our approach to Futures Thinking

This week we thought we’d share the high-level “method to our madness” around running two Oblique Thinking Hours on Futures Thinking. Below we describe a bit of the approach. The next Oblique Thinking Hour is NEXT WEEK! We hope you can come along to our session next week and play with possible futures together. See details below.

Our futures thinking approach

Concerns are growing about the impact of AI and other advanced technologies on work, labor, employment, and organizations. Many of these concerns lead to predictions about what will happen to us all in the future, often based on current trends, fear or hopefulness, and expectations about how technology will progress. The weight of these predictions—particularly when peddled by influential people—can lead organizations to overreact, underreact, or scramble to figure out how to adjust.

Take ChatGPT as an example: It took just two months for the chatbot to eclipse 100 million users, with organizations ranging from software companies to educational institutions to customer service centers rushing to implement the tool into everyday operations or reign in its impact. Just ask a college professor about the water cooler conversations. But our point isn’t just to echo Jurassic Park’s “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Instead, we think it’s important for decision-makers to quickly but carefully address critical uncertainties in their environments (whether technological, economic, political, etc.) in ways that harness the diversity of perspectives across the entire organization. It’s a tough management strategy to operationalize in a fast-moving world, yet there are sets of tools and techniques that can help to do so in an efficient and reproducible way. One such strategy is “Futures Thinking,” and OrgMycology would love to help your team or community run an exploratory workshop.

We just wrote up our overall approach to Futures Thinking workshops, summarized in the graphic above. You can read more about it on our Futures Thinking page.

In this week’s Oblique Thinking Hour, we’ll be building off of Step 1 that we ran in our last session. The goal for the June 7/8th sessions will be to walk through Steps 2 and 3. We’ll develop rich descriptions of what potential Scenarios for the future of work might look and feel like given the Critical Uncertainties we collectively identified back in May. We’ll discuss how society as a whole can strategize to move towards Desired Futures, rather than throwing our hands up in the air and looking to powerful people to decide (and push) their Desired Futures.

We of course will not solve the world’s problems in an hour (wouldn’t that be great?!). But the purpose is to get you thinking about how you might be able to use this in your own organization, or in your home life, or in your hobbies, or any other domain that has you feeling like you want to take more control of your future state. See below for sign-up details, and please reach out to us if this is something you think your organization would benefit from hiring us to run for you. You can reach us at [email protected]

It is not necessary to have attended the May event for you to come to this event.

June Oblique Thinking Hour

Two times are available - Click here to see in your TZ

  • June 7th, 9:00 PM GMT  / June 8, 2023 at 8:00 AM NZST  REGISTER HERE
  • June 8th, 2023 at 8:00 AM GMT / June 8th, at 8:00 PM NZST  REGISTER HERE

Beth has a new substack, you should sign up!

If you’re interested, our very own Beth Duckles is doing a Substack called Organizations Like a Forest. She’ll be sharing her thoughts about organizations, sustainability, cross disciplinarity, social change and more. https://bethduckles.substack.com/

Contact us at [email protected]