Processing the Results


Playing the Game

Because this game is one of the easiest to play, there isn't a lot of need for detailed advice. But don't be misled by the simplicity of the gamethe magic lies in the discussion of how your customers perceive their future. To get to this discussion, you can

  • Encourage customers to work individually, letting them know that at the end of the game each will be asked to present their results to the group.

  • Request that customers work as a group, which is useful for when you want a chosen group of customers to work together answering a common question. If you choose this option, appoint a group leader who is responsible for capturing the results of the group and being the spokesperson during the discussion phase.

    Framing the Question

    It can take time for a team playing Remember the Future to become comfortable with the wording of the question. The best way to do this is to practice with both forms of the question for a given product. Let's suppose that one of the benefits of your product is that it helps customers save money.

    1. Imagine it is one year in the future. How will our product save you money?

    2. Imagine it is one year in the future. How has our product saved you money?

    Consider your own response to these questions. In the first form, you might find yourself wondering about the many possible ways your product could save money, but not feeling comfortable with any one way.

    Contrast this with the second form of the question, in which you're likely to start thinking of very specific ways in which your product saved you money.


    Figure 2.8. Playing Remember the Future with Multiple Groups

    It is the Richness of Detail That Matters

    What distinguishes Remember the Future from simply asking about a future event is the level of detail that customers generate when answering questions framed in the future tense of the verb. Suppose, for example, that we'd like to get a sense about who will win the next FIFA World Cup.

    The simplest way to frame the question is, "Who will win the next FIFA World Cup?" Asked this way, you're likely to answer with just enough detail to justify your prediction: "France emerged as the lone European country to make it through the quarter-finals through a combination of excellent goal tending and solid free kicks. They easily won their semi-finals and turned in a great match in the finals."

    Framing it in the future-perfect tense results in, "Imagine that it is the day after the next FIFA World Cup. Who will have won?" You might also say France, but notice that right away your mind is drawn to answering why did France win? The easiest way to put your mind at ease it to answer that question. And the more detail you put into answering the question, the better you feel.

    The end result is often more like, "France was the unlikely winner after a grueling set of matches played over several weeks. Their goalkeeper was spectacular in the first round, establishing the French team as the team to beat. In the quarter-finals, the French goal keeper made more than 12 saves, giving his team confidence to aggressively and relentlessly attack Brazil, resulting in the lone and deciding goal in the 80th minute of play. The aggressive play continued in the semi-finals, where the French outscored Argentina 3 to nil. Finally, the combination of aggressive attacking and continued brilliant goal tending allowed the French to beat Mexico 2 to 1 in the finals."

    It is important to note that in both cases we can see plausible explanations of how the future will unfold. The second example, however, contains the rich and detailed explanations of the future that you can leverage to better understand your customers' definition of success.


  • Encourage customers to work any way they choose, either individually or as a team.

During the presentation phase, give a few minutes for each person to describe his or her answers. Then explicitly invite other participants to comment on this particular version of the future.



Innovation Games(c) Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play
Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play
ISBN: 0321437292
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 144
Authors: Luke Hohmann

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