[Home]OSTandGovernance

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Removed: 22d21
hang onto your hats and get a pen because i've made a fine mess of this next one...

Added: 24a24,26
hang onto your hats and get a pen because i've made a fine mess of this next one... (this soul/spirit bit needs cleaning up)...



Removed: 34,36d35

as long as we identify ourselves more closely with the stories that are the government and psychology of the community than we do with the inner flows, movements, grace and spirit that are community... we will struggle. similarly, as long as we cling to our own individual plots of land, no roads and sewers can be built. see in the middle east now, people cling primarily to the land and no government can be built. the stories are ABOUT the common structures, they are not the structures themselves. stories make the structures serve life. our attention is given TO these stories, but is bigger and deeper than the stories themselves. attention gives the stories quality. attention moves with/by spirit, but it is not the whole of spirit. spirit makes attention powerful.


Changed: 39c38
governments make and remake roads. communities make and remake governments. waves and movements make and remake communities.
coming at this a bit fresher then...

Changed: 41,42c40




resources (matter) aggregated into infrastructure (bodies), allocated by rules (mind), appreciated and understood and integrated through stories (soul), that are animated by spirit (spirit)

Changed: 44c42
note that i'm not sure where this leads, but my primary contribution (if i dare call it such) is to erase the division between govt and business and people, specifically, and generally to erode the quality of attention given to government as a solid form, so that we can see more of the stuff (space?) out of which it comes. above psychology is theology, beliefs... stories about stories? ...values? wholeness? integration? until and on the way to mystery of spirit. MH
think it's important to erase the division between govt and business and people, specifically, and generally to erode the quality of attention given to government as a solid form. need to see govt, business, individuals, churches, etc as players in the one field, with new emphasis and attention on the field rather than one kind of player.

Changed: 46c44


the way we talk about government seems to give the wrong understanding of their relationship to individual. as mark pixley told me in hong kong last year, when i asked about little taiwan talking tough with big china... "a country is only a country because we say it is a country."

Changed: 48,51c46
*resources are aggregated by structures
*structures are allocated by governments/rules/stories
*govts/stories/rules are appreciated by individuals
*individuals are animated by spirit
also, govts can't give appreciation. can't tell stories. that takes individuals, telling stories, and listening, understanding, integrating them. the telling and the taking in are functions of the individual. and beyond that, we also see that individuals don't actually animate those stories, only trade them. animation is the work of the one spirit which we already are.

Changed: 53c48
but the way we talk about government seems to give the wrong understanding of their relationship to individual. as mark pixley told me in hong kong last year, when i asked about little taiwan talking tough with big china... "a country is only a country because we say it is a country."
this then, from MichaelHerman's blog, at about this same time...

Changed: 57c52
and tell me again WHY are we doing this? so that we can explain to government people that the stories they are stewarding are smaller than any and every one individual? not sure we're gonna come up with a good way of delivering this news.
inviting leadership

Changed: 59c54,55
fact is that govts can't give appreciation. that takes an individual. individuals can't animate. that takes spirit.
PennyScott phoned from the BowenIsland/Vancouver? ferry last week to share this from fellow Chicagoan John McKnight?, a leader in the development of Asset-Based Community Development...
Service systems can never be reformed so they will produce care. Care is the consenting commitment of citizens to one another. Care cannot be produced, privileged, managed, organized, administered or commodified. Care is the only thing a system cannot produce. Every institutional effort to replace the real thing is a counterfeit.

Changed: 61,65c57
*resources use space.
*structures use resources
*rules use structures
*stories use rules
*spirit uses stories
Care is, indeed, the manifestation of a community. The community is the site for the relationships of citizens. And it is at this site that the primary work of a caring society must occur. If that site is invaded, co-opted, overwhelmed, and dominated by service-producing institutions, then the work of the community will fail. And the failure is manifest in families collapsing, schools failing, violence spreading, medical systems spinning out of control, justice systems becoming overwhelmed, prisons burgeoning, and human services degenerating.Notice, too, that as systems degrade, the results show up as complexity of issues, real or potential conflict, increasing urgency and a real diversity of people and perspectives needed for resolution -- exactly the conditions wherein Open Space Technology works best! It doesn't cause the chaos, it merely acknowledges the truth of it -- and gives us room to deal with it peacefully and productively.

Changed: 67c59
government allocates resources. builds structures. makes rules. shapes awareness. ???
Having just posted an updated version of my own paper, InvitingOrganizationEmerges?, I will hasten to add that while really open space and genuine care cannot ever be produced by a system, they always be invited by anyone of us who already really cares. This, it seems, is the real work of leadership today... to invite care. And the only way to invite it is to be it... and be willing to be caught in the act.

Changed: 69c61
government IS... resources. structures. rules. all. one.
inviting leadership continued

Changed: 71c63


Coming back to the John McKnight? quote posted yesterday...

Changed: 73c65
how can ost be used to enhance community governance? by inviting people to notice that they ARE something bigger and before the rules/government, the infrastructures, the resources. they are a life together.
Care is, indeed, the manifestation of a community. The community is the site for the relationships of citizens. And it is at this site that the primary work of a caring society must occur. If that site is invaded, co-opted, overwhelmed, and dominated by service-producing institutions, then the work of the community will fail. Much of "management" and other forms of organizational leadership will rightly fall into this category of "service-producing" that invades and degrades our community living and working space. When management attempts to do thinking, caring, deciding, energizing, learning and other things FOR people that people can, in fact, do for themselves, the work of the organization eventually fails. On the other hand, when leaders invite passion and responsibility in Open Space, the work of the organization eventually flourishes. And so it becomes a question of time. If you're in it for the long haul, best to aim for eventual success!

Added: 74a67
...and on the subject of being "caught in the act of caring" at work, i say this not unfamiliar with the dangers inherent in such a willingness. so i will add a plug here for an excellent shield. Peter Frost's new book Toxic Emotions at Work: How Compassionate Managers Handle Pain and Conflict is based on research done at two major business schools and is published by Harvard Business Press. It does an excellent job of laying out the current needs, real dangers and practical options for caring at work.

Changed: 78,115c71
penny can explain these guys. mcknight is a chicago boy!

Stefano Zamagni

Civil society foster trust it is the ideal typical place to cultivate
trust and institutions that rely on trust. This is not the case with the
private market, which is instead a trust consumer.

Due to their organizational peculiarities, co-ops are a suitable solution to
the crisis in social security systems, a crisis due in large part to the
inability of the public sector to respond to changing needs. Without the
bureaucratic rigidity of the public sector, co-ops are flexible enough to meet
those needs, thanks in part to their ability to manage the values of the
market with the values of solidarity or community.

Market economies capable of facing the challenges of the future need to
breathe with two lungs, the private economy on the one hand, and the civil
economy on the other.

John McKnight?

Service systems can never be reformed so they will produce care. Care is the
consenting commitment of citizens to one another. Care cannot be produced,
privileged, managed, organized, administered or commodified. Care is the only
thing a system cannot produce. Every institutional effort to replace the real
thing is a counterfeit.

Care is, indeed, the manifestation of a community. The community is the site
for the relationships of citizens. And it is at this site that the primary
work of a caring society must occur. If that site is invaded, co-opted,
overwhelmed, and dominated by service-producing institutions, then the work of
the community will fail. And the failure is manifest in families collapsing,
schools failing, violence spreading, medical systems spinning out of control,
justice systems becoming overwhelmed, prisons burgeoning, and human services
degenerating.




how can ost be used to enhance community governance? by inviting people to tell their stories to each other, make them more visible, audible, tangible... to make the stories as real as the rules and rulings that must be informed by them. and to allow those stories the space touch and be touched by the spirit that animates all life, the space to notice that they ARE something bigger and before the rules/government, the infrastructures, the resources. they are a life together.

Removed: 117d72
i like the mcknight bit best. can't wait for chris to come and clean this up! do a search and replace for attention into care. it's the quality of attention that i was fishing for.... kept trying to get clear of the quality of life stuff, and tossed the baby with the water. had that quote in the box here and knew i should have come looked it up sooner.mh

A conversation exploring the use of Open Space Technology in community governance.

To contribute to this conversation, click on the "edit text of this page" link at the bottom of this page and add your thoughts to the bottom of the conversation. Better yet, help Chirs get over his attachment to his own writing and edit the stuff below directly, so it becomes the newly definitive document on this subject, the perfect blend of his words and yours. (Like this paragraph is now Chirs and Michael!) I think i'll start by adding a question mark at the end of his question. <grin> Click the 'other versions' and/or 'diff' links below to see my changes separated from what was already here.

For more information on formatting text, etc., see the "Help" page.


To begin with, I'll ask the question:

How can Open Space Technology be used to enhance community governance?

Looking at Michael's four quadrants model, note that as communities evolve towards "invitation" as a community practice, they go through the five stages of matter, body, mind, soul and spirit.



hang onto your hats and get a pen because i've made a fine mess of this next one... (this soul/spirit bit needs cleaning up)...

OST fits on the soul level, which means that it rests on the body of the community, and runs on the stories of mind, but has the potential to redirect and recreate those stories. To integrate OST with governance, I think the municipal government needs to care for the body and hold the vision that more can happen. When citizens then self-organize, using OST or other processes, the municipality needs to find ways to support that spirit, knowing full well that this is what it has been waiting for. Mostly, though, government needs to be willing and allowed to MOVE as attention shifts.

We don't know how coherent all of this sounds, but perhaps it's a springboard for more conversation. What do others think?



coming at this a bit fresher then...

resources (matter) aggregated into infrastructure (bodies), allocated by rules (mind), appreciated and understood and integrated through stories (soul), that are animated by spirit (spirit)

think it's important to erase the division between govt and business and people, specifically, and generally to erode the quality of attention given to government as a solid form. need to see govt, business, individuals, churches, etc as players in the one field, with new emphasis and attention on the field rather than one kind of player.

the way we talk about government seems to give the wrong understanding of their relationship to individual. as mark pixley told me in hong kong last year, when i asked about little taiwan talking tough with big china... "a country is only a country because we say it is a country."

also, govts can't give appreciation. can't tell stories. that takes individuals, telling stories, and listening, understanding, integrating them. the telling and the taking in are functions of the individual. and beyond that, we also see that individuals don't actually animate those stories, only trade them. animation is the work of the one spirit which we already are.

this then, from MichaelHerman's blog, at about this same time...


inviting leadership

PennyScott phoned from the BowenIsland/Vancouver? ferry last week to share this from fellow Chicagoan John McKnight?, a leader in the development of Asset-Based Community Development... Service systems can never be reformed so they will produce care. Care is the consenting commitment of citizens to one another. Care cannot be produced, privileged, managed, organized, administered or commodified. Care is the only thing a system cannot produce. Every institutional effort to replace the real thing is a counterfeit.

Care is, indeed, the manifestation of a community. The community is the site for the relationships of citizens. And it is at this site that the primary work of a caring society must occur. If that site is invaded, co-opted, overwhelmed, and dominated by service-producing institutions, then the work of the community will fail. And the failure is manifest in families collapsing, schools failing, violence spreading, medical systems spinning out of control, justice systems becoming overwhelmed, prisons burgeoning, and human services degenerating.Notice, too, that as systems degrade, the results show up as complexity of issues, real or potential conflict, increasing urgency and a real diversity of people and perspectives needed for resolution -- exactly the conditions wherein Open Space Technology works best! It doesn't cause the chaos, it merely acknowledges the truth of it -- and gives us room to deal with it peacefully and productively.

Having just posted an updated version of my own paper, InvitingOrganizationEmerges?, I will hasten to add that while really open space and genuine care cannot ever be produced by a system, they always be invited by anyone of us who already really cares. This, it seems, is the real work of leadership today... to invite care. And the only way to invite it is to be it... and be willing to be caught in the act.

inviting leadership continued

Coming back to the John McKnight? quote posted yesterday...

Care is, indeed, the manifestation of a community. The community is the site for the relationships of citizens. And it is at this site that the primary work of a caring society must occur. If that site is invaded, co-opted, overwhelmed, and dominated by service-producing institutions, then the work of the community will fail. Much of "management" and other forms of organizational leadership will rightly fall into this category of "service-producing" that invades and degrades our community living and working space. When management attempts to do thinking, caring, deciding, energizing, learning and other things FOR people that people can, in fact, do for themselves, the work of the organization eventually fails. On the other hand, when leaders invite passion and responsibility in Open Space, the work of the organization eventually flourishes. And so it becomes a question of time. If you're in it for the long haul, best to aim for eventual success!

...and on the subject of being "caught in the act of caring" at work, i say this not unfamiliar with the dangers inherent in such a willingness. so i will add a plug here for an excellent shield. Peter Frost's new book Toxic Emotions at Work: How Compassionate Managers Handle Pain and Conflict is based on research done at two major business schools and is published by Harvard Business Press. It does an excellent job of laying out the current needs, real dangers and practical options for caring at work.


how can ost be used to enhance community governance? by inviting people to tell their stories to each other, make them more visible, audible, tangible... to make the stories as real as the rules and rulings that must be informed by them. and to allow those stories the space touch and be touched by the spirit that animates all life, the space to notice that they ARE something bigger and before the rules/government, the infrastructures, the resources. they are a life together.


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