Future-Focused Leadership: Preparing Schools, Students, and Communities for Tomorrow's Realities

By Gary Marx | Go to book overview

Appendix B
A Checklist for Creating and
Working with a Futures Council
Consider the benefits of an ongoing futures council, not as a decisionmaking body, but as an ear to the ground, a way of getting a constant stream of thinking and advice from a diverse group of constituents. Actually, an education institution or any other type of organization might have a number of these councils with rotating memberships to help them tap the thinking of a broad cross-section of people.These types of councils can engage in generative thinking at the organizational, system, school, campus, departmental, or other level. Futures councils might also be ready-made to participate in some of the processes for environmental scanning discussed in Chapters 3 and 6.The following checklist can help with the formation of futures councils:
Identify a diverse group or groups made up of staff and community to engage in generative thinking. Make it clear that the group's activities will be strictly advisory. In addition to the name “Futures Council,” other names might include “Trends Council” or “Vision Council.”
Ask a respected and capable member of the community to serve as chair of the council. This person should understand and respect the group's advisory role.
Inform the group about its responsibility and provide members with printed information and Web sites that will inform their discussions. Consider inviting a futurist to discuss societal trends with a broad cross-section of the staff and community.

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