Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0151 | May 4, 2004 | 8,000 Subscribers...
 


Dear friends,

We devote this issue to the large group process called "Open Space Technology." Our feature article, "Igniting Self-Expression," was submitted by my friend and colleague, Judi Richardson, and summarizes the basics of this exciting approach to harnessing the wisdom, experience, and creativity of large groups with a common interest.

Judi is an expert in OST and has consented to be our guest at the next Micro-Skills Tele-Seminar scheduled for Thursday, May 13th
at 1:00 PM EDT where she'll answer a number of questions about the practice of this approach. Please see details after the article.

In this Issue:


Feature Article:
Igniting Self-Expression: Open Space Technology

Igniting Self-Expression: Our next one-hour tele-seminar with Judi Richardson happens Thursday, May 13th at 1:00 PM EDT.

Resource:
Open Space Technology: A User's Guide. This book, by Harrison Owen, is a hands-on, detailed description of facilitating Open Space Technology.

FacilitatorU.com. Pre-recorded Micro-Skills Seminars.

If any of you have any interesting stories or experiences about facilitation, group process, work groups, team building, training, etc. that might interest our readers, please email them to us.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis
Publisher

 
Group Process Skill
Igniting Self-Expression
Open Space Technology

The Point


Judith Richardson, MA, of Pono Consultants International and Emergent feminine, thrives on working with groups. She exercises this passion in forums ranging from the chairing of formal Board meetings to efficient and effective staff meetings, to the facilitation of creative discovery sessions for hundreds of people, to the hosting of deep, intimate conversation circles. As a caring, passionately curious woman who brings warmth, humor and compassion to clients and colleagues, Judith is recognized for her skill in facilitating high-value results while empowering organizations to create increased profitability and high-quality relationships, and uses her own unique creative energy to ignite change.

Her alchemy includes an innovative meeting format called "Open Space Technology". The Open Space concept is designed to elicit real internal change within a company.

The Open Space concept works by building relationships among diverse employees or departmental organizations and by creating an "open space" to address challenges or resolve conflict. Open Space Technology (OST) is currently used in over 80 countries; Judith's experience is in Siberia, Jamaica, Canada, US, Alaska, Hawaii, and Denmark!

One of the keys to a successful and productive OST event is the relationship we establish with the client before the group meets. We work closely with the client to understand their organization and to effectively create the appropriate theme or forum to frame the discussions, as well as the non-negotiables.

Application


The theme is the only frame that participants see. The Open Space event appears to be unstructured and chaotic. It isn't. There are four unusual principles and one law.

The principles are:
1. Whoever comes is the right people.
2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
3. Whenever it starts is the right time.
4. When it's over, it's over.

The law of mobility

The law of mobility invites participants to move from to another group or elsewhere if they are not learning or contributing. Moving like butterflies and bumblebees.

Butterflies sit down and look pretty. Maybe they have a cup of coffee. I've seen people go for a walk or take a nap. It frees you up to do what you need to do for yourself. Surprisingly some of the greatest learning can occur when you're a butterfly. You attract other participants. Bumblebees tend to cross-pollinate, moving between discussion groups, sharing ideas.

Using the theme and principles, and taking into consideration the "givens" or non-negotiables, participants identify issues they find personally relevant. When all issues are collected and written on sign-up sheets displayed in the room, participants are then invited to choose the issues they want to address.

Open Space Technology is productive because it operates on the concepts of passion and responsibility. Passion engages people and responsibility ensures that tasks are accomplished. As groups meet and diverge, hand written or computer-generated reports are posted and the central issues are developed in further detail. The groups become self-managing and write concrete action plans. By the end of the seminar participants have a professional book of specifically-addressed company issues as well as plans for their implementation.

Organizations going through transformative change often experience chaos, confusion and conflict. Open Space Technology, discovered by Harrison Owen in the 80's, is a powerful approach for engaging people in change. It is now used around the world by facilitators in thousands of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, governments, non-profits and communities. Judith's own journey led her to open space in organizations and communities in deep conflict. In June 2003 she facilitated Palestinians and Israelis, and often uses OST with diversity issues, international debates and multi-stakeholder events. Judith now has an even clearer understanding of how Open Space and self-organization can address chaos and confusion and conflict in ways that build better organizations and communities.

In addition to substantive outcomes from Open Space meetings, seminars, or conferences, participants have a new performance benchmark. Employees or organization members experience shared leadership, personal empowerment, an appreciation of diversity and they create an ongoing forum to resolve problems.

About the Author. Judith Richardson, B.Ed., M.A., is a facilitator, author, speaker, and trainer. Featured in ICFAI University’s Executive Reference on Diversity Management, author of Engaging Leadership, and Keynote at International Conferences, Judith was nominated for International Coach of the Year 2003, and works with International Organizational Development across North America, Europe, Jamaica, Denmark, Sweden, Israel and Russia. Learn more about Judi and her work by visiting her websites at: www.ponoconsultants.com and www.emergentfeminine.com.

Action


Study OST and consider giving it a try with one of your groups who's needs fit the tool. Please
email us to tell us how it worked for you.

Facilitation Expert Series

Facilitation Micro-Skills Tele-Seminar: "Igniting Self-Expression Through Open Space Technology...," featuring Judi Richardson, speaker, trainer, author, and facilitator.

Attend this one-hour tele-seminar on Thursday, May 13th at 1:00 PM EDT (NY Time) with Judi Richardson and Steve Davis. During this tele-seminar, you'll receive an introduction to Open Space Technology from an expert in the field. Her clients often refer to this approach as working "magic" because the process is invisible to them, and the results seem like magic--major shifts in organizational energies resulting in teams that work together collaboratively, committed to each other’s success, increasing performance and profitability. Some of the points we'll discuss are...

"Just in Time" Learning

Attend this one-hour tele-seminar with Judi Richardson and Steve Davis, Thursday, May 13th at 1:00 PM EDT (NY Time). Some of the points we'll discuss are...

What is Open Space Technology?
How does it work? What are the principles and processes used?
When is it appropriate to use? And when is it not?
What role does "passion" play in this and how do you assess if it's sufficient for OST to work?
How important is the theme and givens?
A story of how it's worked effectively for other groups.
What is the role of the facilitator?
How to you work with those sponsoring the event?
How can OST be used in training/education or for integrating information in conferences?
What training or preparation do you recommend to those wishing to administer this approach?
And, answers to any questions you bring to the teleclass.

Four Free Bonuses!

1. Online collection of Open Space Resources. Site containing Quotes, Examples (short stories), Elevator Speeches (what is open space), Explanations (some finer points), and a collection of Articles.

2. Introduction to Open Space Technology. A simple and straightforward introduction to Open Space Technology: What it is, how it works, who's it for, and what you can expect.

3. Cases in Open Space Technology. Four Case Studies summarizing the results of using open space technology in non-profit, private enterprise, military, and government arenas.

4. Open Space Technology Planning Checklist. 50-point checklist that addresses pre-event planning, logistics, and post event tasks.

About Judi. Judith Richardson, B.Ed., M.A., is a facilitator, author, speaker, and trainer. Featured in ICFAI University’s Executive Reference on Diversity Management, author of Engaging Leadership, and Keynote at International Conferences, Judith was nominated for International Coach of the Year 2003, and works with International Organizational Development across North America, Europe, Jamaica, Denmark, Sweden, Israel and Russia.

Using a variety of processes (our facilitation and coaching techniques are based on sound research and years of experience), she facilitates development within groups and organizations, inviting others to recognize their own inherent qualities and emerge them. "We utilize processes as an objective mirror to help our clients assess the current state, as a catalyst assisting them in defining and creating a compelling view of the future, and the courage to go for it. Open Space Technology is a natural as one of our processes!" Learn more about Judi and her work by visiting her websites at: www.ponoconsultants.com and www.emergentfeminine.com.

Click here for details about this interview, the bonuses, and registration.

Resource


Open Space Technology: A User's Guide, by Harrison Owen

Open Space Technology: A User's Guide is a hands-on, detailed description of facilitating Open Space Technology (OST). Written by the originator of the method--an effective, economical, fast, and easily-repeatable strategy for organizing meetings of between 5 and 1,000 participants. This is the first book to document the rationale, procedures, and requirements of OST. OST enables self-organizing groups of all sizes to deal with hugely complex issues in a very short period of time. This practical, step-by-step user's guide details what needs to be done before, during, and after an Open Space event.

In the Spotlight

Pre-Recorded Expert Tele-Seminars

Each of the expert tele-seminars below were pre-recorded, one-hour teleclasses with experts discussing a key skill area important to group workers. Each recording is available in either real-audio or CD format, comes with class notes, and several relevant bonuses. All but the CD is emailed to you immediately after purchase for download. Click on the links under each topic for full details.

Have an expert in mind? We're always looking for new experts that have something compelling to say of interest to group workers and change agents. Please tell us if you or someone you know might be a good candidate for one of these classes. Send an email to newcourse@facilitatoru.com and tell us what you're after.

Discount: Purchase any other FacilitatorU.com product in addition to these below and recieve a 10% discount on the total. Click on discount link displayed at the top of the shopping cart upon purchase, and buy an additional product to receive discount at checkout.



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Featuring acclaimed author Penney Peirce, author, speaker, and professional intuitive... details here
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The 5 P's of Guided Imagery...

Learn this
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Featuring Ellen Britt, Ed.D., speaker, trainer, and co-founder of Primal Waters..details here
Real Audio: $17.95 Click Here to Purchase
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