September 23, 2011
“With groups of 5 to 2000+ people, working in one-day workshops, three-day conferences, or the regular weekly staff meeting, the common result is a powerful, effective connecting and strengthening of what’s already happening in the organisation: planning and action, learning and doing, passion and responsibility, participation and performance. “ www.openspaceworkd.org
I’ve been priveledged to use this faclilitation process twice in the last month with client’s teams wanting to engage the whole towards one transformational goal, creatively explore options and identify key action steps to make it all happen. I have to say, I’m so inspired and excited by the results we’ve achieved. Although the two groups shared common traits, they differed in the seniority of participants (one was exclusively senior managers while the other was the entire team) and also in their initial agreement on their purpose. I found that the Open Space process established a fundamental opportunity for everyone to engage at their level of interest (passion) and responsibility, and for disparate views to be aired respectfully and managed by the group.
What was most rewarding for me, as the facilitator, was that both groups came to a shared respect for differences and developed one single focus, despite what seemed to be polar differences at the beginning. By lunchtime there was lots of informal chatting and laughter – something which only increased as the day went on. This was a sign that participants were becoming more comfortable with each other – the opportunity to contribute, be heard, and engage on their own terms seemed to be the foundation for forming new respect and understanding for others.
While Open Space may seem a little chaotic at first for the participants, I’m an absolute convert with regards to the outcomes the process achieves. There is simply no better process in my toolkit to engage teams to creatively resolve “wicked” problems or rally towards a common purpose.
If you want to know more, please check out our strategic planning support page or get in touch! I’m happy to give you more information….