Design In or Out Consequences with BiFocal Binoculars


I hope you played with the Bifocal Binocular Frame (BFBF) yourself on some issue important to you. How it works is :

  • identify a thinking focus issue
  • since you want to explore consequences of doing  or not doing something in the short and long-term, you choose to use the Bifocal Binocular Frame.
  • you 'roll forward' across a spectrum of positive, neutral but interesting, and tending to negative effects first short-term, then again in long- term (time frame determined by you relative to the issue- in developing a new city center the time frame may be 6 months and 5-10 years, whereas for building a rock garden in your back yard might be looked at as 1 month vs. 1 year)
  • be thorough, bold and  rigorous
  • look over the scan as a whole now, and if you would still like to go ahead but are concerned about some potentially negative or difficult effects, then consider if you could back up in time and design them out before they even appear for real. (If choosing a career as a polar bear specialist requires you live in Alaska or one of the Poles and you hate being cold, you may choose earlier on to add an educational component to your education and seek a job in zoos rather than outdoors in a natural habitat.)
  • now notice if there are outcomes you might want, but they don't show up as a matter of course. In this case you can design them in at an earlier stage. (Perhaps you hanker after tropical island living, but don't see an automatic path from medical school to that lifestyle. So you might decide to apply for medical school in Hawaii or do internships in Central America to increase your chances of ending up where you want to be. You simply design it in!)
  • you go back to your focus issue from the point in time where you are now (real time) and now make strategic choices about going ahead or not, designing the outcomes you desire and avoiding the pitfalls to the extent you are aware of them. As the old saying goes, fore-warned is fore-armed.

The Bifocal Binocular Frame  (BFBF) thinking tool is very powerful. I have used it in forecasting  with oil companies in the Middle East, in correctional institutions to reduce recidivism,  for students planning college or career choices and even for playground etiquette in elementary schools.

Now it's your turn to try it out again. Be comprehensive and have fun!