Counterfactuals represent states that either can’t happen or that we agree should not happen. We can create counterfactuals through rules and enforcement of rules. We can also agree on a body of negative stories that represent what we don’t want to be, and it’s generally easier to get consensus on a negative. This approach also allows greater autonomy and adaptability to change than specific goals and targets.
Normally arising from constraint mapping but counterfactual mapping can be stand alone. Counterfactuals represent things which cannot happen and are normally analysed by looking at the energy cost and time to remove or change. Some counterfactuals may be absolute - the law of Gravity being an example. But for a small company national tax legislation may be another.
Method card material
This material will be extracted for the method cards
Possible symbols or illustrations
Front page description
Energy time matrix with three arrows
Back of card summary
Counterfactuals represent states that either can’t happen or that we agree could not happen within the time frame for decision making and/or at an unacceptable cost. We can create counterfactuals through rules and enforcement of rules. We can also agree on a body of negative stories that represent what we don’t want to be, and it’s generally easier to get consensus on a negative story. This approach also allows greater autonomy and adaptability to change than specific goals and targets.
How can it be used?
Method Properties - Ratings
Represented by symbols - interpretation/voting scales are:
COST & RESOURCES: How resource-intensive is the Method in terms of materials and tools required, and thus costs?
- Requires only common office equipment (eg paper and pens)
- Requires simple facilitation materials (special hexies, printouts, whiteboards etc)
- Requires some inexpensive but specific tools and materials
- Requires moderate investment in tools or software to apply
- Requires significant investment in software or other specialist tools
COMPLEX FACILITATION SKILL: How much training and skill in complex facilitation does the Method require?
- No complex facilitation experience is required
- Some complex facilitation experience needed - practice in a safe space
- Should be mentored while developing complex facilitation skill
- Requires Mentoring until proven, familiarity with theory critical
- Advanced, requires deep knowledge of theory and experience
ENGAGEMENT GRADIENT: How challenging is engagement of participants into the Method likely to be?
- Ad hoc technique - can be used in multiple contexts with relative ease
- Requires time commitment but overall, engaging and not difficult to achieve
- Mild uncertainty or discomfort, may need work to keep people engaged
- Indirect/ambiguous method, requires engagement through sustained levels of uncertainty
- Challenging method – may incur resistance if people expect a more traditional approach