Some learnings on visualizing complexity

Last week, I was part of a facilitation team, hosting a session for 88 people from a large retail organization, with the goal of defining ways to collabaratively achieving their strategic objectives. My role in this team was to visualize the complexity as it evolved from the process. This visualization will be digitalized and be used as a visual portal to the wiki-like web environment in which all the content was structured and delivered.

In the end, I think we were succesful in delivering what we promised. The visualization was spot-on on a content level and visually very appealing and supporting. However, if I were to do it again next week, there is a number of things that I would definately do differently….

Emerging Realities

The world is getting more and more complex and agile. Knowing what the world is like in five years is an illusion. Being able to adapt to changing conditions is getting crucial for organizations. Especially when you want to plan ahead and stay ahead of the game. Especially, when planning programs that tend to run for a longer period of time, months, sometimes years, it is crucial to find an answer to the question “how do we cope with the future as it emerges?”. You cannot plan the whole program ahead. You need to find ways to plan the first part and design the program in a way that you can constantly adapt to the changes and new insights that you will find along the way.

This calls for a new way of thinking: Emerging Realities

Group holds the answer

The group holds the answer?

 

Within the Design Centers, one of the things we regularly tell eachother is that ‘the group holds the answer’. By this we mean that the group of participants collectively is able to solve the challenges they are facing. Our job is guiding them through the process in which they can discover the parts of the solution they are after. So to say, by guiding the right people through the right process, the solution will emerge….