"The impossible has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks."
Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
One of my favorite MG Taylor axioms is "You can't get THERE from HERE but you can get here from there." Backcasting has become popular over the years but when we first used it with our clients in 1980. It seemed very strange - and powerful - to them. Work walls to work big on? Collaboration across all boundaries, both vertical and horizontal? Unleashing Group Genius? These were things our clients had never thought about, let alone experienced. There was no proof in our beginning, no benchmarking. We simply had to put our concept to work.
RUN-WALK-RUN is a process we used on ourselves when we founded MG Taylor Corporation and put into place methods and tools that were not available in the market place. R-W-R is the process of leaping out into the future and envisioning a world that could be - well beyond what you know to be possible from the vantage point of here or today. Between THERE and HERE there are many possibilities. What is known that could help us realize our vision? One example of this was our need for large write on walls as we were sure that working big was a critical tool in enabling deep collaboration. No walls could be found. Possible vendors stared at us like we were crazy. So we made the walls ourselves by finding a manufacturer of refrigerators and getting access to the surface materials on refrigerators. One weekend with a rented truck, colleagues, and Matt's artistic imagination and engineering skills, we created our first Working Big environment of at least 20 four wide by 6 high panels.
We invited friends into the space and asked what to do with the space. Draw, create, share ideas, work together were the responses. Our walls were covered with ideas and plans. Because we had created a tiny part of our vision and been willing to share it, others were able to engage with us. In a single afternoon of working together, one office supply store owner wanted to put his furniture in the space as a showcase. Others had ideas for how to make the environment work better. We were off and running, learning as we went.
WALK signifies what isn't to be found and needs to be made up from scratch -- something that can fill in while waiting for someone to invent it.