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Inductive Scenarios Module

Inductive Scenarios Module

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Published by: Reos Partners on Aug 04, 2009
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09/09/2011

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Inductive Scenarios Module
One Full Day.“If you read the scenario process literature you’ll find that the only thing that is attributed to Adam Kahane is the useof the word ‘snippéttes’.” -Adam Kahane
The Inductive Scenarios Module is divided into the following sections:
 
Introduce the Scenarios Process
 
Co-Create Scenarios Inductively ( 
 Note: this section is divided into six (6) steps
 )
 
Questions For Lunch & Paired Walk 
 
The
‘There’s a lot of shit coming down river and we need some scenarios yesterday’ 
Sub-Module.
 
Distill Meaning From the Scenarios
Introduce the Scenarios Process
 
If you are doing scenarios in one day, then you’ll have to push to get them done by the end of theday. Make an announcement that the day will be packed, and that we must build momentumearly so that there is time the following day to process the scenarios.Inductive Scenarios move from the minute to the general, from small snippets to large narratives.
 Prevention:
 
Let them know that tomorrow we will ask: “What does this mean? What are theimplications? What do we do next?” For now, however, we’ve got to focus on asking “What mighthappen?” This prevention may need to be repeated.Our target output is a set of 2, 3, or 4 useful scenarios. Useful is defined as:
o
 
Relevant 
to the current situation
o
 
Challenging 
to current assumptions and ideas
o
 
Plausible
, substantial, and realistic
o
 
Clear
and distinct from one anotherIn order to get there, we will follow this progression:
Snippets:
Create snippets of logic (cause & effect, cycles, feedback loops etc.)
Themes:
Cluster the snippets into candidate scenarios. (Cluster like snippets with like.)
Choices:
Choose between 2 and 4 of the most useful scenarios.
 Narratives:
Develop each one into a full scenario.
 The overall structure of the process will look like this:
o
 
Diverging: putting a lot of ideas on the table.
o
 
Emerging: letting it cook 
o
 
Converging (day 3): clarification and action
 
 
Co-create Scenarios Inductively
Tip:
 
This is a
creative
activity in the most obvious sense. The scenarios are not preconceived inadvance. This will require work. We will create something by the end of the day that did notpreviously exist. In the spirit of creativity, it is important that the group is inspired and ready toget to work. Jeff’s Picasso video module is perfect for this.The first thing to do is establish a time-frame for the scenarios that looks far enough ahead thatthings could change but not so far that it seems irrelevant.
For example,
if it will take anestimated 10 years to turn around the climate change issue, then we need to make it concrete:‘Established scenario target: now until 2020.’ Once this is done, move on to generating the actualscenarios.There are 6 small steps to the scenario generation process:1.
 
Generate
snippets (pieces of scenario logic)2.
 
Cluster
snippets into candidates3.
 
Clarify
clusters into candidate scenarios as list of evocative themes, images, phrases4.
 
Choose
the most useful scenarios from these candidates5.
 
Develop
the chosen scenarios into full blown narratives6.
 
Name and Link
the Scenarios
Step 1) Generate Snippets
(pieces of scenario logic)
 
Café seating 
The structure of snippets can take many forms. Here are a couple of examples:
 A) Cause and effect chains
In the following example, an increase in Variable A leads to a decrease in Variable B, which inturn leads to a increase in Variable C.
 
 
B) Feedback loops
In this example, an increase in Variable A leads to an increase in Variable B which in turn leadsto a further increase in Variable A. This kind of scenario logic is exemplified in the relationshipbetween carbon emissions and climate change.In general, snippets should be concerned with cause and effect, so that one variable affectsanother, and then that effect affects another.
 Prevention:
 
Participants should not create extremely complex systems maps with hundreds of  variables. Creating more simple snippets is more effective than creating fewer complex ones.Each table should create as many simple snippets as possible and then choose 2 or 3 to share.In general don’t use language in the snippets such as “increase” or “decrease,” instead usedifferent vocabulary so that the relationships between aspects of the snippets are reversible.
The opposite could also be true

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