The Open Space Event and Beyond
What follows are notes accumulated through
the preparation and facilitation of numerous open space events.
I still refer to this list, rather than scrambling my brain trying
to remember the one thing I'm missing. And of course, if I do
forget, it's the only thing... <grin>.
- need or opportunity clearly identified --
what are we to DO?
- broad, creative theme statement that captures
intent for gathering
- interviews w/ a broad range of stakeholders/potential
attendees, to write theme and set boundaries
- invitation, incl. theme, background, boundaries,
- invitation list as broad as possible/appropriate
- degrees of freedom determined as explicitly
as possible, how open will this be?
- registration packet...any pre-reading homework
or logistical/lodging details
- large room - no tables or other obstructions,
- breakout spaces - 7 per 100, never less than
- chairs in circle
- microphones (2), confirm dead areas of room
- food plan - buffet
- computer plan - room/tables, incl. printer,
5 per 100 people
- flipcharts and easels, one per room
- copier plans
- posters - theme, grid/wall labels, four principles,
be prepared, one law, bees/flies, veteran strategies, spaces
- blank paper for issues posting
- markers/tape/post-its, nametags(?)
- bells/talking stick
Setting the Room
- circle of chairs, NO tables, podium, etc
- posters around room in order, starting with
- blank wall or grid, labelled with space/times
- markers, tape, pencils, nametags, bells
- breakout spaces labelled
- proceedings cover page
- participants address/phone listing
- ballot sheet to include in proceedings book
- table of contents set-up on paper/disk
- instructions for typing up notes, on paper
and flipchart poster
- issue log numbers poster w/ post-it numbers
- computer room hours and deadlines poster
- proceedings reports file folder
- report template on
- notes/report template
on paper in breakout spaces
- voting software and numerous easels for action
- leaders expectations, support
- intranet? other distribution channels?
- conveners reconvened?
- training workshop?
How to Keep the Space Open in Everyday
(as developed at University of Kentucky
Rural Medical Center and
reported by Lloyd Kepferle in Harrison Owen's Tales from Open Space)
- Eliminate constraints on the following:
- Who can call a meeting.
- The type of problem or opportunity that is
- The availability of time to have a meeting.
- Who may attend a meeting.
- The availability of information necessary
for a group to work.
- Personal empowerment is constrained by the
- When a problem or opportunity is to be discussed,
there must be wide notification of the meeting time and place
so that anyone who is interested can attend.
- Proposed solutions/ideas must be broadcast
widely so that they can be acknowledged as organizational policies,
programs, or procedures, or, if they are contradictory to organizational
rules, another solution can be sought.
- Proposed solution cannot be hurtful to anyone
- Proposed solutions should channel limited
resources so that they have maximum impact on achieving organizational
- Accomplishing the work for which people were
hired takes precedence over the group work. However, if the right
people (those who really care) are involved in any topic, they
will find a way to make sure their work is completed and the
work of the group is brought to a successful conclusion.
|Evolution at Work: A
Personal Journey and Public Invitation to Open Space, by Michael
|© Copyright 1998-2000 Michael
Herman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reprint or distribute
without permission and full attribution, including web address
and copyright notice. Permission will be granted gladly if you'll
just say what you'd like to copy and where you'd like to share
it. [email protected]