Need some general guidelines?
Before starting a workshop you need to:
- Select the context: is the entire world, a country, a local region or certain industries going to be the field of study?
- Select the timespan: when discussing about future changes it´s necessary to address a timespan: for example are we looking 3 to 5 years ahead or maybe 10 years ahead? Selecting a timespan is of great importance when talking about “Patterns of Change” and “Uncertainty”.
Do participants have the necessary basic knowledge?
- An understanding of the “Patterns of Change” because there is big difference between trends, discontinuities, hypes and rages.
- An understanding about the difference between a macro, meso and micro level of thinking. Macro addresses the contextual environment. Meso is the transactional environment (industry specific drivers), micro the internal environment (e.g. your own organization). Foresight Cards – STEEP addition includes only forces from the macro-environment.
Want to speed things up?
125 cards are a lot of cards, you might find it useful to make a pre-selection of cards that are relevant for the setting. Be aware that in certain analyses, making a pre-selection, can narrow your view (dominant thinking).
Using additional post-it notes
In some types of games it’s necessary to use additional post-it notes, to add information for example information about the current pattern of change.
Some final thoughts on using the Foresight Cards – STEEP edition
- Text is leading, pictures are supporting: please be aware that the pictures are only an interpretation of the text. They might influence your thinking when you use them as a guiding principle. For example the card “consumption” provides you with an image of a shopping cart with food products in it. In this case “consumption” should not only be related to food but also to all kinds of products and services (the broader picture).
- STEEP and the chosen themes of interest: some forces can be placed under more than one STEEP category. For example education could be positioned under the political category (as this is a major driver for educational institutes). Others might place education under the social category. When this occurs just realize that you shouldn’t use the framework as an absolute truth but only as a supporting structure.
- Time box discussions: sometimes discussions can get out of control. Should this happen try to understand why you have been discussing this force for so long. Is it related to an unclear definition of the context or timespan? Or are there differing opinions about the patterns of change or the amount of uncertainty involved? In workshops where there is a competition element you might find it helpful to time limit discussions so the game element is not lost.