Thinking about the future is hard, mainly because we are glued to the present.
|Scooped by Karen Dietz|
This post by Leonard Fuld for HBR is both interesting and problematic. I am always on the hunt for good articles about creating future stories -- because they are not easy to do.
So this one caught my eye. Fuld describes a team who used a technique for scenario planning from Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow. Kahneman uses a technique that promises to avoid "narrative fallacy" -- seeing the future as merely a slight variation of yesterday.
I was having a wonderful conversation last Friday with Alan Briskin, author of Collective Wisdom, where he was sharing with me some brain research. It's been documented that humans are terrible at forecasting into the future because of cognitive and emotional biases (how I will feel in the future: "if I'm successful in business all my problems will be solved"), plus projection bias (projecting my current state of mind into the future and onto others: "my boss will never change"). Yet neuroscience researchers are finding that mindfulness, "walk a mile in my shoes" stories creating empathy between people, and the quality of storytelling might help us overcome these barriers.
HEADS UP: Future stories help us communicate about the future we are deliberately and consciously creating. Scenario planning is a process for uncovering hidden risks and better planning for the future.
So you can see why I was interested in Kahneman's process for avoiding those biases and "narrative fallacy". It is hard to think about the future and craft stories about what we are creating/or what we can plan for that aren't pie-in-the-sky junk or totally miss the mark.
Here is where the article disappoints, however. The actual technique is never shared so we don't really know how to avoid "narrative fallacy". Bummer. The article instead focuses on the scenarios and implications the group came up with.
Bottom line: this is an interesting development in "future story" that we need to know about, but we are not out of the woods yet. Hopefully really good techniques for avoiding our biases and learning how to use story processes to create effective future stories of all types will continue to emerge.
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at http://www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it