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Personal futurespective to cross this cave (COVID)


I confess that I did not do my personal retrospective of 2020.

I love retrospectives and I usually reserve an afternoon to do a personal retrospective at the end of the year. But at the end of 2020, I didn’t stop to do my personal retrospective. I didn’t want to stop to remember the great challenges (and sadness) of 2020 and the good things that 2020 brought to me. The world is in a very sad moment. I didn’t feel like doing my annual retrospective. But I needed to do something.

So I decided to look for a futurespective, an activity that would help me look to the future. I went to FunRetrospectives.com/futurospectives, compared some options and chose an activity that worked very well. I will not share the result of my personal futurospective, but I will share the activity that may be useful for you too: The Hero’s Journey.

“Hero’s Journey is a futurospective activity to help describe a story that the team is pursuing.“ from the  Hero´s Journey activity page on FunRetrospectives.com

As I used the activity on a personal level, instead of a team level, I adjusted the description:

“Hero’s Journey is a futurospective activity to help describe a story that you are pursuing.“

I liked that call for what I was looking for. This pandemic is not over. It was what I needed for this moment of reflection: something with a future perspective to help me reflect on the story I am pursuing. After all, we haven’t left the pandemic cave yet!

These are the instructions for the activity:

  • The hero: The person or group going through the journey.
  • The guide: The people and things guiding the hero.
  • The cavern: The challenges ahead.
  • The treasure: The awards and achievements.

Which I adapted (for personal activity) to:

  • The hero: Me!
  • The guide: Everything that has helped me get through this cave.
  • The cavern: The challenges of the new world, with the reality of this pandemic.
  • The treasure: The achievements that await me when crossing this cave.

I wanted to store the result of this activity. For this reason, I used the FunRetrospectives.com App to create the activity board (I copied the link and saved it in a personal Google Doc to review throughout the year).

But, when using the app I ended up paying attention to three things: (1) the context, (2) the primary directive and (3) themes for reflection.

The FunRetro App presents some steps for me to create my retrospective agenda. Following these steps, I started by writing the context of my futurospective.

Context: my personal futurospective, held in January 2021, to reflect on what I am doing and what I must do given this pandemic situation the world is going through.

In the next step, the app gave me the option to choose the prime directive for my meeting: retrospective, futurospective, or team building? I selected and reflected on the prime directive for futurospectives. I made a small change in the text, from ´we´ to ´I´, as follow:

‘Hope and confidence come from proper involvement and a willingness to predict the unpredictable. I will fully engage on this opportunity to unite around an inclusive vision, and join hands in constructing a shared future.’ – prime directive for futurospectives

Another feature of App.FunRetrospectives.com is that annotations can be made in three colors of virtual stickies. Each color refers to a theme. And that made me think of the three main themes for my futurospective. I selected:

  • family and friends
  • community of practice
  • finance and entrepreneurship

If you, like me, did not look back on 2020 for a retrospective, but feel that you should reflect a little and look forward, especially given this cave that we are currently going through, I recommend the Hero’s Journey. activity as a good personal futurospective.

And let our walk through that cave end soon.


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Paulo Caroli

Paulo Caroli is the author of the best-selling book “Lean Inception: How to Align People and Build the Right Product” (the first on a series of books on business agility). He's also the creator of FunRetrospectives.com , a site and book about retrospectives, futurospectives and team building activities. Caroli writes on this blog frequently. Receive the next post in your email. Sign up here.
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