CarolRodriguez, SusanHughes?, LucyGreer? Burton, BarbaraEmanuel?
- It is very important to spend enough time up front to be able to know the desired outcomes and decide on the right process to use.
- Crafting the convening question is important.
- One thing that makes it difficult to "sell" people on OS is that you can't say with any authority what the specific concrete outcomes will be. You can say that certain things will happen, but you can't say what will come out as a result of the meeting.
- Sometimes, people have unrealistic expectations about what can come out of an OS event. For example, they don't expect to have an action plan come out of the meeting when they do it the "usual way" but expect it to happen with an OS event.
- Look at the process in Lisa Heft's Idea Book for more information on ideas for convergence-- p. 68 and p. 82
- Spend plenty of time with the client to be clear about the desired outcomes of the meeting so you can match them with Open Space if appropriate and use a different method if that's more appropriate.
- Do an Open Space and then have the group pull out the themes and convene around them.
- When the leader is not comfortable about their "lack of control" it helps to be clear about what the "givens" are in the situation; see if their intentions for the meeting match the intentions for an OS; be sure the process matches the outcomes.
- Trust the process.
- Use OS; then use dots to identify the priorities; then ask people to go their priority groups to identify tasks or next steps; reconvene and ask each priority group to report on the tasks they identified; then have a discussion about what the overlaps are, and what the next steps for the whole group would be. You could ask for champions on each priority area at this point and volunteers to continue to work on the items.
- Don't push the group to move to commitment too soon, especially if they don't know each other and haven't worked together before. The results are likely to be a lack of follow-through from not working on what they want and not having relationships to support the on-going implementation stage.
Be clear and intentional about the convening question.