Thursday, October 29, 2009
PROSPECTIVE PATHWAYS TOWARDS DEVELOPING LIFESCAPES
What if? Thinking:
Ponder the possibilities of apparent impossibilities. What if whatever you thought impossible were possible? What then would you think of? Make a random list of such items.
Create imaginative scenarios by writing present fiction as future fact. Play with such themes and creative catapulting will generate vivid pages of future ages: these are templates for vivid scenarios describing future events.
Headlines and Tailends:
Look at headlines in newsprint and see if you can make them more impactful. Then create fresh headlines for events in the future!
Look at articles, stories, reports, from the past, and, via creative reconfigurations, change their endings to create past possibilities. Then step back and see what the whole scenario looks like: could it have occurred? Could it occur in the future?
Scan what’s happening in various domains (e.g. technology, transportation, medicine, agriculture, etc), then link items from these diverse domains and extrapolate them into the future, via Mind Maps, or otherwise.
Plug into the various media outlets and scoop up stimuli that help to identify trends or generate hypotheses.
These are perspectives of mentors, experts, specialists, and so-called gurus: their opinions from unique vantage points could provide raw material for ripe rewards.
Play with random images, scattered across large sheets of paper (brain dumping), or onto storyboard panels, sticky notes, and Mind Maps, and combine them with traditional statistical renderings (graphs, charts, grids, etc), to portray a chaotic tapestry of future thinking. Such chaos leads to creative order.
Create collages or montages of clippings from diverse newsprint or other such sources, and use random juxtapositions to stimulate ideas for future scenarios.
Create linear, organic (like nature, flowing, as in Lifescapes), or radial, timelines, into which you force fit scenarios to establish a compulsive rhythm between time and space, via constructive pressure. Stipulating timelines can lead to stimulating Lifescapes…and the time of your life!
Lifescapes are not horoscopes or forecasts.
The future remains as unpredictable as ever. If it were not so, we would have no use for our faculties of choice and liberty. Uncertainty and freedom are strange bedfellows. It is precisely because the future is unprecise, indeterminate, that our choices and decisions mean something.
Lifescapes are ecosystem maps that address today’s uncertain world, and help us to to create a dialogue with tomorrow’s uncertainties.
The world is a fabric of elaborate information networks; clear cut answers are elusive, and thus, what matters most is our ability to deal with the nature of relationships among things, phenomena, and forces.
Lifescapes help us to incorporate the myriad aspects of entrepreneurship and leadership, so that our decisions are directed at the Triple Bottom Line: Financial Prosperity, Environmental Well-Being, and Societal Harmony.
[Excerpted from the 'Lifescaping' seminar participant's manual. The 'Lifescaping' seminar is conducted by Dilip Mukerkea about four times a year under the auspices of the Singapore Institute of Management. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]