Meta, Engagement for Future Thinking

Meta uses the metaphor of a vehicle, enabling employees across an organisation to co-create shared stories together, to unpack where the organisation is today, and identify the challenges and opportunities to prepare for the future.
Nayoon Lucia Lee
Rong Hua
Future of professional services: Consultancy
How might we create a methodology that uses storytelling through metaphors and speculative design in a business context to help engage employees in large organisational decisions like creation of company strategy, vision, organisational changes, etc?
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Engaging employees of all sectors and levels for future thinking
Meta is a methodology that uses the power of storytelling, speculative thinking, and metaphors to enable employees to participate in extremely divergent conversations and to come up with new and creative ideas for organisations to prepare themselves for future challenges. Through carefully designed workshops for the virtual space, we help participants broaden their perspective of the current scenario, and understand and discuss the current and upcoming changes in the organisation. They then agree upon aspects or values for the company vision, or the ‘preferable future’, where the goal is to come up with either implementable ideas and/or create a roadmap for change from immediate to more long-term actions in order to achieve the preferable future in x amount of years.

For organisations of all sizes, various purposes

Through the Meta experience, individuals in large organisations can feel heard and valued by the company, enhancing engagement and motivation from them during organisational changes. On the organisational level, Meta helps rethink or reframe the company vision as well as build an actionable strategy to achieve it. The workshops can be iterated multiple times for maximum participation, as well as be adopted for different purposes like regular catch ups for the leadership team, off-site team building exercises, or yes, we’ve even heard of it being like therapy sessions for employees. As for small or medium-sized companies, Meta will allow the company to clearly set a shared future vision and action strategy that is easily communicated to everyone involved. It is especially useful for those small, fast growing companies who have many newcomers and can iterate the experience as employee bonding exercises.

Why now, and why Meta?

The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing companies to be resilient about the way they work, reform how the company is structured, all the way to reimagining what their goal or purpose is (just like it forced us to be resilient and flexible in the way we do our workshops). These are huge, complex issues and the conventional, top-down approach won’t suffice. Instead, Meta engages various individuals in the organisation, asking them for their input and their stories, and taking a bottom-up approach. It uses stories and metaphors to communicate and deliver messages. Because humans are story-driven, we can help create change that resonates with people, leading to a long-lasting change. Furthermore, by helping organisations think about the various possibilities in the future, we are helping them be more proactive about their future, rather than being reactive.
If you want the experience first-hand...
There are two possible ways clients can access META. The first is to purchase our digital toolkit complete with an instructions manual and relevant resources to facilitate the META workshops themselves. This can be found on META’s official website, The second is to hire us to facilitate and co-create with them. We help clients navigate through the metaphor with illustrations and animation clips, create a story that works with their company, and find those key service design opportunities that they can act upon today to achieve the preferable future they set during the workshops.
What you can expect
When clients hire us for the META experience, they will be delivered a physical (and/or digital) book at the end of the experience, a visualisation of the conversations that took place during the workshops - captured in a compelling story that can be rotated internally, referred back to, and inspire. They will also have successfully agreed upon a preferable vision of the company that is more resonating and descriptive than a vague mission statement, as well as a strategy roadmap from immediate actions to long-term actions that will help them achieve their preferable future.
special thanks
Chris Moore, principal consultant at Thoughtworks and RCA-SD PhD candidate, as well as all the wonderfully active participants of our workshops from Thoughtworks
Interested in talking to the designers of this project?
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