Day 2 Bounce and some elementary matters.

owen owen at
Thu Dec 17 14:19:35 PST 1998

At 02:37 PM 12/17/1998 EST, you wrote:
>I was interested in your situation regarding the church and OS.  As a clergy
>person and as director of a labor-management council, I wonder if what was
>needed as a first step might be a conflict resolution process rather than OS.
>In my work with labor and management, we use the tool we feel is most
>effective for the situation.  OS is wonderful as a synergy producing planning
>process.  If, however, there is not common interest, or worse, hostility,
>conflict resolution may be more effective.  (We use the 7 Elements process
>developed by Roger Fisher of the Harvard Negotiation Project fame.)  Just a
conflict resolution approaches can be very valuable, but in a curious way,
Open Space seems to perform almost as well. I have had Zulu, Hausas and
Afrikaners all in the same room with no problems -- dealing with very tough
issues. Down the street, the same sort of folks were cutting each other in
small pieces. The key I think is the Law of Two Feet, which allows folks to
cool off when they need to. So any how, i don't think the issue was that
OST could not handle conflict, rather I think the problem may have been a
lack of clarity about the intention of the meeting, and the fact that it
occurred in two parts. If everybody had been there from the beginning, and
there was no part II, I am dead certain that the underlying conflict would
have surfaced, and I would be pretty certain that the folks could have
handled it well and productively. they would have had the time, and things
could have cooked. As it was, sounds to me like a flash fire sort of thing.
If Birgitt Bolton is looking in, she might be willing to tell the tale of
our adventures with the Breast Cancer Advocates. Lots of conflict for sure,
but I believe things turned out positively. but we had two days, and things
certainly did cook. Actually, Larry Peterson's wife was very much a part of
that whole thing, and if we could get her on-line, that would be wonderful
too. h.

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