Convenor:KerryNapuk?, Open Futures, Edinburgh, Scoltand
Summary of the meeting:
The issue involved how facilitators could support OST by making it more effective after the event, i.e. during implementation over time.
The following points were made by participants:
1. Focus on pre-preparation with sponsor, covering what will happen after the event. It was a good idea to build in a review point(s), such as one week, one month or three month reviews. A follow-up event on progress would be good after six months.
2. Focus on commitments made during the event, clearly identifying person(s) willing to take responsibility for the implementation of agreed priorities/actions.
3. Are there any principles or guidelines to keep spirit alive after the event? Keep the space open with circles, form a social club, establish a newsletter etc. Spirit seems to fade when action planning occurs. Don't kill spirit during convergence. Maybe the way to keep spirit is to encourage organisations to open more spaces in the future as a different way of working. One way to keep the spirit going is to get the sponsor to review the benefits from the last event during his or her keynote in the next event, providing endorsement and support for the continued use of the process.
4. Support from facilitators could come from options or choices presented to sponsors about implementation. Try to build in commitments before the event or let sponsor make commitments at end of the event in closing remarks after the priorities have emerged.
5. Prepare the sponsor. It is easier to make it happen over a three day event than one day. But, useful to get people in one day event to sign up to implement priorities after the event. Leadership is always key, so get the sponsor to explore what could happen after the event.
6. There was an active discussion about using givens or not. Some participants felt givens restricted possibilities, others felt it was more realistic.
7. HONOUR THE SPIRIT AND THE SPONSOR! BUT DO YOUR HOMEWORK IN PRE-PLANNING AND GET SPONSOR COMMITMENTS TO IMPLEMENTATION.
Watching Ongoing Effect of OS I do my best to prepare sponsors for an OS event. Often the "event" is a key point, a jump start of a particular intentional change process of which OST is a key component. I agree with the comments on the critical role of preparing the sponsor. If there is a sponsor team refective of the key actors in the organization its better. I do as much as possible -- and there are limits. Many Sponsors learn as they go through the experience. Leadership after an "event" is thus critical. When the CEO and the planning team get the possibilities and then does what they can do to keep the energy going it is a wonderful sight to see. Some do, some don't. I've recently seen a number lately who do. From the CEO of a local children's theatre company where, despite changes in the key staff position, she and the planning team kept a new image of their relaitionship to schools going so well that it has transformed that part of their "business". After more than a year, the energy is still palpable (I keep runing into them at various events.)
So, I do my best before the plan with the key sponsors (using key slides, videos and conversation) so that they can see what OST might do in the flow of ongoing (self) organizaiton that is taking place. I encourage follow-up teams or events to keep the content and energy going and make the connects between the existing work process and what emerges. Many cannot afford an ongoing role for an external at key points, and of course I encourage them to bring me back as appropriate.
Great Topic. --LarryPeterson
Yes, preparation ahead of time is essential, but not always easy for those new to OS to really understand the potential. I usually focus on these things in pre-event discussions of followup:
Wiki obviously supports all three of these, if they are the kinds of folks who will use it. That's why OpenSpaceWorldNET exists.
Also, some great stuff on post-OS (from Harrison's Tales from Open Space) at GlobalChicago:OngoingOpenSpace and a good momentum-sustaining way to converge is through GlobalChicago:NonConvergence. In the end, the key word for me is practice ...if they take OST as an event, it stays just that, though really important stuff will still find a way to get done. If they take it on as a practice, however, then there is no more need to 'make' anything happen. --MichaelHerman
Adding to the notion of practice...what I and MichaelHerman and JudiRichardson? and JulieSmith and many others learned from our experience in Alaska is that supporting a training workshop right after an event is a great way to extend the Spirit of OST through an organization or a community. Since then I have worked with a few groups where learning and doing are tied together and it definitley has increased the amount of space that is getting opened in those places, as well as encouraging action to stay away from the boxy structures of traditional planning and management. It also supports the growth of the awareness that is seeded in the OST event. -- ChrisCorrigan