Local College Scenario
Future search is the best approach to determine how a local college would operate to maximize the impact of a college to the community. The rationale is that this is the most suitable method for such a large group. It will facilitate more organized planning in which everyone knows that they are creating a future together. Norum (2005) presents several conditions that make a future work approach successful. Among these conditions is the view that the method enables small and manageable groups that work ach present their own agenda and are part of the decision-making process. For this college to take into account the ideas of every party, there is need to involve each person and ensure hear their views in one way or another. Therefore, the parties can be part of small groups of different ideas. Every group will involve its members to explore ideas that they can use to find a common ground. Future search enables a collaborative discovery of all the 1100 people who want the college to proper. For instance, the method would allow me to divide them into 10 groups of 100 people who have different needs or demands for the college. They can then engage with one another and create a future that is beneficial for everyone. It is an organized way to manage the flow of ideas and create a common ground. Norum (2005) also argues that future search enables the differences in ideas to be acknowledged and a decision reached that is based on underlying beliefs. For instance, if I use future search to determine the best course of action, I many note that the common belief among all the ten groups is the integration of extracurricular activities into the learning of the institution. They may all believe in the role that sports plays in education but could have different opinions about how the integration should take place. Therefore, I will proceed with a common ground that is based on all this belief of the group and ensure I meet all their concerns. Future search would allow me to take note of underlying interests, values, and beliefs in each group and reach a common ground that facilitates them.
Rogers (2010) also provides some aspects that are needed for facilitation to take place. He presents ideas such as the existence of too much confusion, systematic problems, and the absence of a particular answer. The aspects he presents align with the conditions of the problem I am experiencing with the college. There is not right answer and too much confusion overrides the ability to make an informed decision. Hence, a future search will act as the facilitator of a more common ground. It will enable me to sieve through the confusion and find common ideas that can propel the collage on a collaborative future. It is the perfect way to ensure everyone is part of this future in a way that enhances the most positive results. Moreover, I believe that the five stages in this approach will enable the participants to determine what would work best for the community as a whole in the future given how many institutions have behaved in the past.
Video Game Scenario
In this scenario, I would employ the future search method as well. Ideally, an open space technology approach would work effectively but it is too unstructured for this type of decision. The rationale is that the five founders want opinions from the employees that will specifically facilitate a way forward. They are not likely to get this opinion if the employees are only talking amongst themselves. It will be too difficult to find feedback when, for instance, every employee has a different opinion about what needs to be done. Nixon (1998) showcased that an open technology policy is much unstructured. For instance, individuals have discussions over coffee breaks, a situation that raises the main question of how this will enable the founders to make an informed decision. Hence, the same led me to believe that the founders need to have all the employees in a controlled room with a set of boundaries in which they will only discuss the matters at hand. The video on future search highlights the boundaries that individuals in the room have (Kaapz, 2010). They can have open discussions through the five steps Nixon (1998) discusses. The amount of control in this case is needed to ensure they discuss the best way forward for the company while considering the past of video games, their future, and the company's position in the market. The future search method provides mechanisms through which this structure can take place to lead the employees to a specific common ground that the founders need.
Insurance Company Scenario
In this case, the CEO should use the open space technology method. The rationale is that it dwells into the different personalities of the participants and each of them finds a way to voice their concerns. More importantly, even if the CEO decided to use future search, the individuals from these departments would still not speak up because of their personalities. Hence, putting them in smaller groups that interact in a less controlled environment is an effective way to ensure they voice their issues in their own way as highlighted by Owen (2008). For instance, the video on open space technology, the speaker outlines a process that would be accommodative to individuals with a laid back personality (Pashley, 2012). All they have to do is write down a topic, show it to a group, and stick it on a board for discussion. The same ensures that they do not speak much but their ideas are part of the whole process. Nixon (1998) introduces this process and speaks of the circle and divided sessions in which every person has an opportunity to attend one that features the idea. Hence, this process is ideal for individuals whose personality is not as bold and interactive. They become part of the process of change in the organization as opposed to being on the sidelines when the outgoing ones speak up.
I think what went wrong is that the CEO missed the whole point of an open space technology. The open space is meant to ensure the employees present their ideas in a less controlled environment. The CEO managed to control what they would say by giving them a list of topics to discuss. It is apparent that the employees wanted to discuss different aspects that directly affected them or they saw fit for the situation. Hence, they could not implement the ideas they incorporated in the summary because this is what the CEO wanted and did not reflect their desires. The CEO violated the aspect of the lack of control as facilitated by Nixon (2008). The rules provide that the employees give the sessions and everyone is free to choose what suits their ideas. However, the CEO in this case gave the topics and refused to allow the free system that makes open space technology ideal. He did not let the employees interact freely within the marketplace as theorized by Owens (2008), which limited the ability of this method to voice their concerns. Leith (1996) has several conditions under which employees can operate one of them being that the groups have to be small and self-governed. The self-governed aspect is completely missing from this scenario and can explain the resistance showcased by the employees towards the implementation process. They were not part of the decision-making process because the environment was highly controlled.
Kaapz. (2010). Kaapz and Future Search https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfTHKwvAbiALeith, M. (1996). Organizational change and large group interventions. Career Development International, 1(4), 19-23. [ProQuest]
Nixon, B. (1998). Creating the futures we desire - getting the whole system into the room: Part I. Industrial and Commercial Training, 30(1), 4-11. [ProQuest]
Norum, K. E. (2005). Chapter 15: Future Search conversation. In Dialogue as a Means of Collective Communication (pp. 323-333). Springer Science & Business Media B.V. / Books. [Business Source Complete]
Pashley, S. (2012). Open Space. NHS Research and Development Forum. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vEBcr_YkHU
Rogers, J. (2010). Large group interventions. Facilitating Groups. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education. Pp. 98-104 [EBSCO eBook Collection. Note: this is a section at the end of Chapter 3 of this book]
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