Summary of Future Search

An Action Guide to Finding Common Ground in Organizations and Communities

Berrett-Koehler, more...

Buy the book

Future Search book summary
To set an action plan two decades into the future, first you must learn the lessons of the past.


5 Overall

6 Applicability

6 Innovation

4 Style


In this book, Marvin R. Weisbord and Sandra Janoff describe a three-day program to help organizations develop a future plan. Their conference is designed to unite groups of people from different areas of an organization so they can create a program together that they all support. Typically, the conference includes 50 to 70 people who review the past, explore the present environment, create future scenarios, identify common ground and make action plans. The program encourages dialogue and working together as peers. Future Search suggests how you might organize this program yourself, from setting up the agenda to planning the logistics. Because the book is a specific, practical guide for a particular type of conference, it will primarily interest those leaders and managers who want to put on such a program. getAbstract recommends Future Search as a good hands-on tool for companies, non-profits, government agencies or other organizations that want to hold a future planning conference.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to plan your firm’s future using a Future Search conference
  • Which five parts constitute a conference
  • Which elements will ensure its success


The Nature and Advantage of a Future Search Program
A Future Search program is a task-oriented meeting for planning with a large diverse group, using a "whole systems" approach. The goal of the meeting is to create a dramatic new action plan. Group members do this by reaching a better ...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Authors

Marvin R. Weisbord is an internationally-known organizational consultant. He is the author of Productive Workplaces and Discovering Common Ground. Sandra Janoff is a psychologist and consultant. She has designed and facilitated whole-systems processes in the public and private sectors. Together they plan and lead Future Search conferences, coach facilitators and offer public networks. They are partners in a consulting group, Future Search Associates.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category