Workshop: Bridging the Imagination-Action Gap

A method for teams to gain actionable futures-based insights on their work.

Bridging Imagination-Action Gap is a four-step process for teams to uncover possible, desirable and unknown futures for a focus of their choice. During the course of a half-day workshop the participating team imagines and reflects on the impact of uncertainties related to their work.

The process helps the team to reveal new perspectives and opportunities and to align on how to work with the future going forward. Furthermore it helps the team to create a shared language around the future and builds their competencies in foresight and futures thinking.

“It’s like team therapy”

The workshop results in a roadmap of actions for the team to take on key insights that emerge in the workshop.

The process builds on Media Evolution’s Collaborative Foresight approach and makes use of the wide range of future scenarios imagined by groups of professionals in our past  Collaborative Foresight cycles.

In the workshop, the teams move through the following steps capturing their insights and actions into the Imagination-Action Gap canvas:

  • Team Focus
    Before the workshop, the team defines what they want to focus on. This can be a product, theme, strategy, service or similar. Six questions guide the team in writing a one-pager to describe the context, purpose, current status and potential actions for the focus of the workshop.
  • Possible Futures
    In this step, the  team scans for signals and trends shaping the future of their focus. The team discusses the potential impacts of these developments and selects the most impactful and uncertain ones to explore further. From here, the team digs deeper into the possible impacts of these developments on their focus.
    The result is a cloud of signals and trends, and how they impact the team’s focus.
  • Desirable Futures
    In this step, the team moves from observations to envisioning. The team is invited to a Time Travel exercise created to expand the horizon and reflect on the participants’ relationship to the past, present and the future with focus on the fruits of their work in the decades ahead.
    The result is a set of visions and what the possible impacts for the focus could be.
  • Unknown Futures
    This step takes us into the unknown – into the futures that the team has not yet visited. The team members read future scenarios created in our Collaborative Foresight cycles to reflect on the impact of these futures and unknown futures in general on their focus and work.
    The result is reflections on what impact unknown scenarios might have on the team’s focus and how the team can continue to work with the unknown going forward.
  • Team Roadmap
    This is where the bridge in Bridging Imagination-Action Gap takes shape. The team selects the most important insights that they need to address going forward and decides on actions and responsibilities.
    The result is a roadmap of actions for the team to take on key insights from the workshop.

This method is developed with kind financial support from Swedbanks Ägarstiftelse Skåne.