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- Beiträge aus dem Internet-Diskussionsforum "Search" -

Hello group,

I am brand new to this list, and brand new to Future Search. I look forward
to learning a lot and participating in the dialogue. I have an immediate
need I could use some help with. In an upcoming conference (my first), I am
taking the ball at the suggestion of my FS mentor and doing the mind map. I
could use any hints on the technique anyone is willing to share with me.


Bo Hughes
Pyxis Consulting


I don't know if you or your FS mentor have a copy, but in SearchNEWS #7, the
following appears (p. 16):


1. It's very useful to have three people involved--one conference manager
managing the process, the other conference manager and a
volunteer-participant writing;

2. Since a lot of people usually want to make inputs, it helps to ask people
whose hands are raised to call out consecutive numbers, beginning with "1"
and up to "10" or "12", have those people make their suggetions, in order,
and then have another 10-12 count off with the new hands that are raised;

3. Ask people to say where on the mind-map their comment belongs: "Is that
a new line, or which one does it branch off from?" When the chart starts
getting crowded you might ask "At what point on the "clock" is the branch
you're adding to?"

4. Sometimes it's necessary and useful to drqw long looping lines to connect
branches that, after the fact, you can see need to be connected, but are
separated on the mind-map.

I've watched Marv Weisbord and Sandra Janoff do the mind-map and these are
the things they do. #2 is particularly useful if you have a large group of
people, all of whom are eager to get their ideas onto the map, resulting in
waving hands raised all over the place. It adds a nice sense of order and a
reassuring "you'll get your idea heard" to the undertaking. All four are
intended to make the process move as quickly as possible without leaving
anybody out.

I hope this helps. Good luck!!

Larry Porter
Editor, SearchNEWS

Hi, Bo.

Your request brought to mind some thoughts that I hope will be

1. Be as clear as you can about the central theme the group is to explore.
Relate the notion of "current trends" to the task of the future search
and the group you are working with as much as you can up front and it
will increase group participation and relevance of responses.

Example:(From a search conference with a community college)
Not so clear--"What are some current trends we need to
be aware of?"
Better format--"What are some key current trends which are
affecting what we do and what we need to be doing in our
institution and in community colleges in general?"

2. When people come up with a response, help them to state it in terms of
the trend they are observing. Rather than writing down "shifting
resources", ask them to be more specific about what direction or what
manner of shift are they seeing--"reduction in state and local funding"
for example. Often people will mention a category or a theme and say what
they "wish" the trend was or would be, and it helps to ask if that is
what they are seeing now or what they would like to see. Go for clarity
but also brevity. Try not to encourage disagreements and debates, get the
different perspectives on the map and move on.

3. Also, when someone suggests a point, do your best to have _them_
decide where to place it on the board. I often hear others in the group
shouting out suggestions, but I try to make sure the originator has the
last say on placement.

4. Be sure to vary your focus and attention. There is a tendency I have
noticed to respond to the more active and dominant participants and to
those in the front and center of the group. After each response is taken,
try to move to a very different part of the room for the next suggestion.
Sometimes I have to specify a short sequence "I'll get to you next and
then you...) so that the more insistent ones will not control the input
too much. Look hard for the "edges", the "backgrounders", and the "quiet"

5. Working with two people is by far the best, one can write and one can
work the group and then they can shift roles. It speeds up the process
considerably over having just one person do it all.

6. Above all, don't worry about the outcome. Whatever the group is ready
and able to see will get up there. Aside from occasionally suggesting
"What else is going on that we haven't gotten up here yet?" your job is
to be the recorder, not the creator. When the energy is gone or the time runs
out, let it be. Not all maps fill up the wall to the same extent.

Non-judgemental acknowledgement and effective listening are the critical
elements for the recorders to demonstrate. That way the work is going on
whether it gets on the wall or not.

Good luck and good learning with your search!!

Tobin Quereau
Austin Community College

Hello Bo,
Tape the seams of the butcher paper with masking tape so the paper
doesn't tear by a marker getting caught.

The first lines drawn out from the center should be wavy. This gives
more space for add ons and prevents the thing from looking so rigid, like
the spokes of a wheel.

Be sure the writers have completed writing before throwing another thing
to write at them.

Be prepared for a lot of reaching and squatting. Not a problem for most
but this became a challenge for me as I have one non-functional knee. I
hadn't expected the mind map to be an athletic event but it is.



Hello everyone

I am new to this list too. I am based in England and have been
interested in Future Search for a couple of years having been
originally trained in real time strategic change (another 'whole
system in the room' approach)

I thought Tobin's list of points were great (will put them into my
search net file - if I may - for future reference).

The only thing that popped for me as another thought as I read
Tobins second point is that people often move away from trends
(including wished for ones) and start to give 'solutions' or
'answers' - it helps to ask them for the trend which prompts these

Good luck and good learning with your search!!

Thanks Tobin

Julie Beedon
VISTA Consulting - for a better future