Overview – Hypotheticals
Hypotheticals are interactive sessions where an organisational issue is played out in some future time based on a number of assumptions. A debate ensues around those projections. Hypotheticals provide a methodology for examining difficult choices. They enable participants to envision a broader perspective on an issue by presenting a range of possibilities relating to that issue. Hypotheticals are a powerful way of stimulating employees’ understanding of possible outcomes based on current or proposed courses of action.
This tactic is useful for:
✓ Fostering employee understanding regarding the cause-and-effect implications of their behaviour and actions, e.g. the long-term consequences of declining employee productivity.
✓ Challenging employees’ thinking in a way that is informative and entertaining.
✓ Shifting entrenched ways of thinking that are adversely impacting the organisation’s performance.
✓ Helping employees see beyond their own role in the organisation.
Things to consider:
⇒ Determine the organisational or ethical issue to be examined. This should be an issue of compelling relevance to the audience.
⇒ Select an appropriate forum to stage the hypothetical. These can range from conferences and leaders forums to off-sites and workshops. A hypothetical typically runs for 1½ hours.
⇒ Craft a storyline to explore a range of potential scenarios in how the organisation might respond to the selected issue.
⇒ Select a moderator to run the hypothetical and convey the story line to the audience.
⇒ Select the panellists who debate the validity of the projected scenarios under the moderator’s direction.
⇒ Arrange for a briefing session beforehand so the key players are clear on their respective roles in the hypothetical.
⇒ On conclusion of the hypothetical, elicit the audience’s learnings and insights for workshopping the issue if required.
Build employee understanding about the selected issue first by playing out a number of potential scenarios. This lays the groundwork for moving into the panellists’ debate regarding the assumptions being made. The aim is to find a solution through questioning or cross-examination that identifies the relative merit of different points of view.
Category: Face to Face