This is a forward thinking exercise, with an eye on the past. It is a mix of retrospective and futurespective, which uncovers risks.
Running the Activity
1. Draw the Hot-air Balloon picture in a common canvas.
2. Ask the participants to share their notes for each of the retrospective areas:
*”Let’s start by looking back. Please, write notes and place them on the following two areas above and below the balloon: Hot-air and sand-bags.”*
– Looking Back – Fire and hot air: What helps us go higher? What are the things that push us forward?
– Looking Back – Forces pulling down: Which are the forces pulling us down?
3. Ask the participants to share their notes, thinking about the future.
“Now, let’s look ahead, at the near future. Please, write notes and place them on the following two areas on both sides of the balloon: Storm and Sunny day.”*
– Looking Ahead – Storm: What is the storm ahead of us? What will have our trip turbulenta?
– Looking Ahead – Sunny day: What could we do to avoid the storm and turn towards sunny days? What shall we do to overcome the possible challenges ahead of us?
4. Group notes and discuss.
I am not a psychologist, but different people prefer different analogies. Some will prefer a balloons, others a speed-car. The important thing is to use a simple and effective analogy to get the participation and the ideas flowing. I have seen a range of similar activities. Typically they mix looking back and forward, for preparing for the future.