Philosophy of Facilitating and Skill Building
Future Search facilitators believe that:
- Every person and every group is doing the best they can with what they have every minute of every day.
- People do only what they are ready, willing and able to do.
- People do not have to change their own minds or anyone else’s for a group to discover its common ground and potential for action.
- The facilitator’s task is to keep the group whole and working together, not to fix problems, resolve differences, or motivate action.
- Groups stay whole and develop greater capacity when they discover their real differences in belief, skill, and function, and integrate their capabilities for a common purpose.
- Groups tend to fragment around differences, whether real or imagined. The facilitator’s job is make sure no person becomes a scapegoat due to a personal trait, feeling, or point of view.
- Facilitators are responsible for boundaries of time and task, not for content analysis, direction, interpretation, meaning, or synthesis.
People acquire Future Search skills one meeting at a time. Useful skills include:
- Managing large group dynamics.
- Letting people struggle. Living with the unfamiliar.
- Planning with a group that includes skeptics.
- Trusting people to self-manage tasks without prior training.
- Stopping action if people fight or flee.
- Using designs faithful to key concepts and values.
- Saying “no” to conference requests that defeat the sponsor’s purposes.
- Working on your own issues around “looking good,” control, stereotyping, rescuing, lecturing, etc.
There are several ways to speed-up your learning:
Managing a Future Search – a Leadership Workshop and Lead More, Control Less – a Master Class in Leadership
- Co-manage one or more Future Searches.
- Work with a Mentor.
- Read everything you can get your hands on.
- Talk with experienced conference facilitators and participants.
- Join self-development activities, skill building and personal growth groups.