Opportunity-Seeking Teams

some incomplete work in progress notes for designing/organising creative workshops
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  1. The scale of our current global predicament cannot be summarised as a simple problem.
  2. Some have described it as a wicked problem or, even, a super-wicked problem.
  3. This suggests that a traditional question framing (e.g. problem-defining) approach would not work
  4. This approach is not designed to solve specific, known, or local problems
  5. It is intended to help teams/communities/organisations to flourish and survive

So How Does Our Approach Work?

  1. It helps organisations/individuals to enhance their resilience and liveliness
  2. It helps organisations/individuals to adapt better to a changing world
  3. It helps them to enhance team creativity (within, and across their organisation)
  4. This will alert them to unnoticed opportunities for change & adaptation to their environment

Known Limitations

  1. Our approach is not meant to uphold fairness and democracy
  2. Our approach is not meant to achieve political consensus
  3. Our approach is not meant to find winners and losers
  4. Our approach is not meant to create a proof that something is true
  5. Our approach is not meant to create a proof that something works
  6. Our approach is not meant to flatter the ego of individuals
  7. Our approach is intended to create POTENTIALLY USEFUL OPPORTUNITIES

Team Design

Ideal teams are likely to be small and flat-structured, with a high size-to-diversity ratio

  1. This means they usually consist of complimentary and heterogeneous elements__
  2. To help to enhance the creative and mutually supportive culture within metadesign communities
  3. They
  4. Some thinkers claim that all creativity comes from (re-)combining different entities.


  1. It is useful to keep verbatim notes of ideas when spoken.
  2. When we rely on memory along, ideas can be lost, overlooked, forgotten or misinterpreted.
    • E.g. they may lack the nuanced understanding or bigger context behind them.
  3. By working in small teams, these tendencies can be applied in a positive and opportunistic way.
  4. By designing appropriate observer roles we can amplify and/or augment the ideas put forward.
    • E.g. in a meeting of 4 people, each participant can expect 3 versions of their idea as feedback.
    • This may show her/him that s/he failed to communicate as intended.
    • And/or it may help him/her to clarify the original idea in her/his own mind.
    • And/or the feedback may inspire modified version/s that are (more) useful in their own right.
    • And/or it may produce laughter or innovative ideas (c.f. bisociation).

A Possible 'Quartet' Format

  • Session format would seek to assign (equal?) focus on each of 4 concerns:

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4 Recording Modes

  1. The 4 Headings are designed to be memorable and adaptable.
    • Like the
  2. 4 notation channels are open simultaneously and synchronised on the timeline of the meeting.
  3. Any note taker can switch from one channel mode to another
  4. In theory, there could be just 1 or 2 note takers, although 4 would be better.
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ACTS AS: square-50cm-spacer.jpg OFFERS FEEDBACK ON: square-50cm-spacer.jpg KEY OUTCOME:
HEADFact / Reason / LogicMaking things align or add up
HANDTacit / Embodied knowledgeMaking things work, practically
HEARTFeelings / Emotions / Atmosphere Making things feel good
HUMOURTaboo / Heresy / AmbiguityThe fun of opportunity finding
HANDLERTeam interdependence / Emulsifying incommensurates

The 4H Quartet

A Journey Format

David Berigny Meetings Format

A Possible 'Quartet' Format

  • Session format would seek to assign (equal?) focus on each of 4 concerns:
  1. Each session might follow an iterating series of stages (e.g. the 'hero' journey has 3 or 4 stages)
  2. Some thinking around a possible session format:
  3. Begin with framing the area we are dealing with (head)
  4. Ideas, models, frameworks currently used to address those (hand)
  5. Sharing, stories, connecting on the topic (heart)
  6. Learnings from Metadesign perspective (humour)


  1. The mathematics of holarchic teams, a shows us that ahigher level of responsibility falls upon each individual.
  2. In the era of the current pandemic, most meetings would usually be held online.
  3. Their purpose would normally serve one or both of the following purposes:
    • Instructional - to update newcomers, or outsiders with existing metadesign tools and methods
    • Generative - to develop existing tools and methods, also to introduce or come up with new ideas.
  4. Generative Meetings will normally comprise a minimum of 4 and a maximum 12 active participants