A play-based approach to organizational change in the age of uncertainty.
Bachelor Thesis Project / Willem de Kooning Academy
Future Flex is a series of playful workshops that propose an alternative to the “Future Proof” mentality. The Future Flex experience is designed to engage organizations in an internal transition from a fear-based to a play-based way of approaching the uncertain future.
As chaos and complexity become the new standard, organizations and individuals have to let go of the idea that the future can be fully prepared for with a set of protocols. Organizations must go beyond the idea of being “Future-Proof”. Staying flexible in the flux of uncertainty demands new mindsets and new rules; the game has changed and everyone is invited to play along.
This handbook is a practical guide for facilitators of the Future Flex workshop series. The materials you need for each workshop, "how to play" each one, points for guided reflection, and special notes for the facilitator are included.
The Future Flex approach is a series of playful workshops that follows a semi-circular path, inspired by the flow of Theory U by Otto Scharmer, and is made up of three stages; Fixed, Free, and Flex. Each stage uses play-based activities as starting points for reflection on why systems are stuck, what happens when we let go of the old models, and how we co-create new ones.
The underlying question guiding this exploration being, “How can play help individuals and collectives cope with uncertainty?” The transformative nature of the series is both a reflection on system-wide change and personal development, with the focus on tapping into a Future Flex Mindset and developing an “able-ness” to change. The Future Flex approach is designed for organizations in socially-minded sectors that aspire to become resilient change-makers by first reflecting on their own internal structures and culture.
Through my research, I distilled the first iteration of the Principles of Flex. Organizations that 'become' Future Flex may embody these notions:
If you're interested in the theories of organizational change and play that underpin Future Flex, you can skim through my research essay which was nominated for the Bachelor Research Award 2017.
Future Flex was a collaboration with Playspace, a social-play-design studio in Rotterdam.
Is your organization ready to be Future Flex?
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