We work closely with Ecovium, (Back then a group of companies: MHP Solution Group) a company in the logistics software sector, on a variety of topics. For example, as part of a workshop in which we provided a model for combining business practices with artistic approaches. By combining the tried and tested, classic processes of developing visions and strategies with elements of film art, we have succeeded in developing a powerful and collective vision of the future in the form of a film without losing sight of the entrepreneurial significance of the process: Future by Docu-Fiction.
The combination of classic approaches to develop visions and strategies (Strategic Visioning) with elements of film helps to develop a powerful and collective vision of the future for Ecovium (Back then: MHP Solution Group). At the same time, the imagining of the vision and mission become more tangible for target groups inside and outside the organisation.
The interplay of methodical practice with artistic approach allows abstract terms and ideas to become concrete images that help the team both in internalising the vision and in conceptualising the strategic implementation. Taking on various (stakeholder) roles makes it possible to envision different perspectives and thereby focus on the essentials. Additionally, the collaborative design process improves team spirit and promotes collaboration. This enables organisations to develop a shared vision of the future and a common path of implementation, which empowers every employee to understand and pursue their own contribution both as a team and individually. Since all participants are significantly involved in the creation of the future through documentary fiction, it is fundamentally easier to derive concrete actions from the result. A split orientation helps to approach the envisaged goals step by step.
The two- to three-day workshop is divided into two storylines that are intertwined in a variety of ways.
The future viability of the organisation: vision, mission, goals and strategic fields of action
The participants were divided into several teams, each accompanied by a moderator. In several iterations they mark and bundle important goals of the organisation and thus develop strategic fields of action. The procedure leaves enough space for the teams’ imagination without neglecting their own corporate reality. In the exchange, and on the basis of the diverse experiences, a whole series of ideas is gathered in a very short time. The results also form the intellectual basis for the second iteration.
The team’s ability to act: treatment, title, roles, story, screening and premiere
The vision becomes the narrative of the film, describing the path the organisation takes to realise its goals from the future backwards. The participants enter a future that has yet to be realised and put themselves in the perspective of various stakeholders. Roles such as employees, managers, and customers are assumed and developed as a narrative strand along the elements of a classic hero’s journey:
- Departure: the situation today with all its positive aspects and potentials, as well as with its inadequacies and weaknesses
- Adventure: the fulfillment of the vision, mission and strategy with the help of actions, milestones, successes but also failures
- Return: the time in the future when the vision has, at least partially, been fulfilled and, based on what has been achieved, new future goals are slowly but surely determined.
This is how the script for the future of the company was created piece by piece. The workshop participants took on different roles, such as actor, director or screenwriter. By linking the different storylines and perspectives that result from the roles, the individual parts were put together to create a story. It was rehearsed, filmed and cut so that a proper film was created. A test screening occured in order to experience a preliminary end product together and promote improvements in the post-shoot/post-production, iteration loop. The premiere of the film was the highlight of the workshop and created a common basis for the company’s next projects – and incidentally was a lot of fun, even for those who were not involved in the shoot but participated as viewers at the premiere.
The overall result of the workshop consisted of a high-quality film, which documented and communicated the results of the joint vision and strategy development in an unprecedented way. Additionally, a classic report in the form of a presentation was developed to support further development within the organisation.