OPEN SPACE TECHNOLOGY
I. Welcome; Create space
A. [Introduction by sponsor]
B. Sit back, take a deep breath (begin walking the circle)
C. Introduce myself, honored to be here
D. Look around, I know the skills, ability, knowledge,...caring are in this room
II. State the theme
A. State it clearly, succinctly and provocatively (e.g., create better service for large customers)
B. Expectations for outcome (e.g., get as specific as you can so that you can leave here and act)
C. Constraints and commitments (e.g., Rich will support you in anything you come up with within his span of control; he will work with you to make happen anything that involves contractual, budget or crosses department lines in service to customers)
III. How does this work?
A. Point to the blank wall; here’s your agenda, promise in next 30 minutes you’ll wonder how we’ll do it all
B. Pick some useful examples to express the potential for magic
C. Passion and responsibility
1. Write issue, name, announce, post
2. When everyone who cares to has done so, sign up for as many as you are interested in
3. Not brainstorming
4. Responsibility: to convene group, document session
5. Will create a book with all the sessions
1. Food, breaks logistics
2. Evening News, Morning Announcements
3. Bells for gathering everyone together
A. Whoever comes are the right people
1. Don’t need the CEO, or hundreds of people; just who cares
2. Only one? When was the last time you had quiet time to think and write about something you really cared about? Go for it!
B. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
1. About letting go of expectations: coulds, shoulds; whatever is, is; work with it
C. When it starts...
1. A reminder that creativity does not happen according to a schedule
D. When it's over, it's over
1. Done in 10 minutes? Great! Move on.
2. Corollary: when its not over, keep going until you’re done
E. Law of 2 Feet
1. Define it: when you are neither learning nor contributing
2. Fundamentally about personal responsibility: its up to you to take a stand get your own needs met
3. Two animals
(1) Cross-pollinate ideas
(2) That’s why you can sign up for things at the same time; its possible to be in multiple places at once
b) Butterflies: they look very delicate and they’re deceptive in their impact
(1) May never attend a session; they hang out in the coffee shop, by the pool, in the bar
(2) You sit down and have a quiet, reflective talk with one of them; a chance remark may impact you’re thinking and you take it back into the larger group and it affects others
(3) So , if you’re irritated by people who never go to the sessions, know they do serve a useful purpose; if you’re one of them, you don’t need to feel guilty about it – in open space you’re valued.
4. Death to Boars: moderates their behavior knowing that people can leave if they hog air time
F. Be prepared to be surprised
1. Never before, never again will this group be together
V. Do it
A. Its time, remember, if your issue or pet peeve is not addressed, look to yourself
B. My hope for you, that you reach your goals...that magic happens
C. So, I invite you now to come into the circle, write down your topic, your name, announce it and we’re underway
D. [Keep up patter; encourage them to keep sessions separate even if similar]
OPEN SPACE TECHNOLOGY
Keep in the style and spirit of the gathering.
There are two basic areas to process with people:
What content related things came out for them;
What did they learn about the principles in action (How does this process apply back in the real world?)
II. What common ideas emerged?
A. Try doing a quick "around the circle" question:
Name the most important priority that emerged for you.
III. Consider asking them to write down something that they think would be useful to remember: a task, a commitment, an idea and put it above their desk or someplace where they can reference it later.
IV. Do a talking stick closing: talk about what this experience meant to you.
V. Acknowledge their accomplishments: They’ve just blow their cover: you have demonstrated that you can work together; give examples from the session; now you have a choice.
VII. Say thank you...its been an honor to be with you.
Contributed by: Peggy Holman