Sunday, October 5, 2008

Futuring: Not Just a Game

"The difficulty in times of turbulence is not the turbulence, but to respond with yesterday's logic." -- Peter Drucker

The American Association of Museums’ Center for the Future of Museums is asking the field to help it “build a picture of museums in 2019 and explore how the field can help society respond to the challenges we face” using Superstruct, the world’s first Massively Multiplayer Forecasting Game. 

To receive e-mail alerts from the Center for the Future of Museums about the museum-specific storyline in Superstruct and to keep it up to date on your game activities, contact AAM at

To read more about the game visit To receive e-mail alerts from IFTF when Superstruct launches on September 22, e-mail

Futuring underpins anticipatory leadership and management – skills that are increasingly critical to organizational survival and success.  Futuring needn’t been far, far in the future, it can focus on the next 3-5 years and, thus, inform current planning efforts.

Shortly after 9/11, I had the privilege of facilitating a series of focus groups for NYS Arts that brought arts leaders from across NYS together to discuss the impacts of the attack on their organizations.  For many months after 9/11, arts and cultural organizations were experiencing increases in their audiences as people sought solace and respite in galleries, concert halls and theaters.  While no arts organizations could have forecast a terrorist attack, those that had recently gone through strategic planning said they were better prepared to meet the needs of audiences post-9/11 than their counterparts, who hadn’t been thinking in any structured way about the future.

James L. Morrison and William C. Ashley in Anticipatory Management (1995) advise that organizations "must become more forward looking to deal effectively and systematically with an increasingly turbulent environment. . . . This turbulence has the potential to either destroy or offer new opportunities." They caution leaders to "constantly check for gaps in the way management thinks things are and the way stakeholders perceive them to be."

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your organization into futuring:  Journal of Extension:

Futuring:  it’s not just a game; it’s a way of life.

Photo: Crystal Ball Gazing by shubhrajit_c, flickr

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