Ideal Uses for Each Tool

These tools do not come with hard-and-fast rules about when to use them.

Applying different tools to the same subject can yield a wide range of interesting insights. However, each tool has elements that make it ideal for certain situations.
  • Create a shared understanding of the topic, including what is often unseen and unsaid by people attempting to create change.
  • Identify root causes of what you observe and experience.
  • Examine and reflect on the deep narratives and stories that underpin events, patterns, and structures.
  • Assess whether a proposed solution will address the symptoms of a problem or the root cause.
  • Map out possible near-, mid-, and long-term futures in a rapidly changing context.
  • Identify what aspects of today’s approaches to retain, let go of, or nurture and grow.
  • Generate ideas about innovations that will support a transition from today to a visionary future.
  • Begin to craft new narratives that describe an aspirational future.
  • Create a shared understanding of what your vision would look like in practice.
  • Compare key similarities and differences between the current reality and the ideal future.
  • Articulate the narratives that are in place today and those that would need to be in place to support the ideal future.
  • Develop next-step strategies after creating a vision.

Any of these tools can be applied by one person.

But their full potential is unlocked when they are completed in groups, by people with a variety of perspectives and lived experiences of the subject and a stake in its future.