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Summer Residential Program 2002
Mon - Thurs
Dr. Wendy L. Schultz
Course Description | Assignments

Clear communication, productive idea generation, creative problem-solving, and effective implementation are critical to everyone's success in the future.  These activities will increasingly take place in a world inundated with information, permeated with hypermedia communications links, and challenged by increased cultural diversity.  An understanding of group process dynamics, and how to enhance communication, creativity, and constructive activity within workgroups, teams, and communities also enhances people's ability to plan in the face of uncertainty, adapt to increasing rates of change, and imagine and build the future they desire.

In this course, students will explore and practice the use of tools which help people communicate ideas more clearly, think more creatively, solve problems more innovatively, and implement solutions and plans more effectively.  Materials covered include basic group facilitation techniques, nominal group technique, graphic recording, the "six hats" approach, and a range of futures-specific workshop techniques related to assumptions about the future, emerging issues, scenarios of alternative futures, and visions of preferable futures, as well as strategic planning for the future.  This will culminate in student design of a strategic planning model which includes applied futures research tools.


  • two-page paper: on the first page, describe the best meeting you have ever experienced, and why it was the best, and on the second page, the worst meeting you have ever experienced and why it was the worst -- 10% of the final grade;
  • using the guidelines in Doyle and Strauss, and process suggestions from de Bono, analyze why the best meeting you described above worked so well, and suggest ways to improve the worst meeting you described above -- 10% of final grade;
  • choose three "clients" for the semester: a group or division or project at work; a volunteer group, community group, church or school group with which you are involved; or some organizations with whom you might like to work in the future.  During the course (that is, sometime before March 2003), use the techniques presented to design meeting processes appropriate to each "client," and apply the futures participation techniques studied to at least one of your "clients."  These are design assignments, submitted as draft agendas/worksheets -- 30% of final grade;
  • design a strategic planning process for a specific example client, and create a facilitator's handbook -- featuring, for example, powerpoint slides explaining the planning model and any process activities, group process worksheets, and evaluation forms -- for use in implementing that planning process and change management activities to follow -- 50% of final grade.

Formats for each assignment/class activity: specific, detailed descriptions of the format and content required for each assignment will be available as handouts when assigned.

Grading: see grading policy specified below.  Any written work may be revised and resubmitted for a grade revision, on the student’s initiative, prior to the end of term.


  • Understanding the range of approaches to facilitated group process, including active listening, recording and graphic recording, nominal group technique, snowcards, spider diagrams, and others;
  • Choosing processes and structures appropriately for specific groups and particular outcomes;
  • Mastering approaches to facilitating futures thinking in groups: emerging issues, futures assumptions, scenario use, visioning, and strategic planning;
  • Develop a  personal tools and techniques workbook to support ongoing process design and implementation;
  • Communicate the above clearly to others via discussion, presentation, and writing;
  • Use the Internet and WorldWide Web for research.


Required Texts

DOYLE, Michael and David STRAUSS
How to Make Meetings Work
1993 New York:  Jove Books, The Berkeley Publishing Group.
ISBN 0-515-09048-4

DE BONO, Edward
Six Thinking Hats
1986 Boston:  Little, Brown & Co.

BRADFORD, Robert W., J. Peter DUNCAN, Peter DUNCAN, Brian TARCY
Simplified Strategic Planning : A No-Nonsense Guide for Busy People Who Want Results Fast!
1999 New York:  Chandler House Press.
ISBN: 1886284466


Recommended Texts

NANUS, Burt and Warren G. BENNIS
Visionary Leadership : Creating a Compelling Sense of Direction for Your Organization

> Resources > Course Syllabi > Intro | Classics | Systems | Methods | Facilitation | Governance | Images | World | Leadership

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