Slide 7 of 12
When devising strategies, the organization’s culture and values (represented by the green circle) mediate not only what problems are identified, what goals are articulated, but also what means are appropriate and effective in attempting to achieve those goals. However, the boundary between the organizational culture and the profession, market, or field (represented by the yellow circle) are open and permeable: influences move back and forth. Likewise, the boundaries between any given profession, market, or field and the rest of reality (represented by the outermost, orange circle) are also open and permeable: changes, transformations, and innovations from every sector move back and forth across this conceptual boundary as well.
One difficulty for futures researchers – and their clients – is establishing, for any given project or potential strategy, which changes are key factors in the immediate profession, market, or field, and which are driving forces affecting the entire fabric of reality, and the wider possible futures. When learning to create scenarios using either the futures table (”field anomaly relaxation,” or morphological analysis) method, or the Schwartz (Shell/GBN) approach, neophytes most often stumble when attempting to distinguish clearly between potential changes in the critical characteristics of their organization’s operating environment (market, profession, or field) and the trends and emerging issues of change affecting the wider world that will create alternative futures at a national or global level.