Help for David

Birgitt Bolton birgitt at
Mon Sep 7 08:10:02 PDT 1998

Hi Ralph and John,
And thank you for this discussion on mandatory or invitation. I think invitation is the ideal. It is how I conduct my life--I wouldn't want someone showing up in it under duress. And it is how I think we respectfully conduct organizational life. It is good role modeling---about where the energy is, where it is not, and how to work from there. I would rather a situation where over a period of time, more and more individuals accepted the invitation. 

I agree that an Open Space  works even if mandatory attendance. I know my goal is always using the Open Space  to move toward the Open Space Organization, an open learning organization. Sometimes I am only in the organization for one event. So maybe this shouldn't matter to me, but it always does.  And because I wear this lens, the idea of mandatory doesn't fit. 

Any more comments?
-----Original Message-----
From:   ralphsc [SMTP:ralphsc at EARTHLINK.NET]
Sent:   September 7, 1998 9:07 AM
Subject:        Re: Help for David


I have conducted many open space events where attendance was mandatory.
In my experience, they all worked just fine.  Personally I only have a
problem with "mandatory"unless the system is in some kind of conflict or
turmoil.  Employees get called to meetings all the time and attend with
no more than a usual amount of behaviorus interruptus.  If the very act
of calling the meeting is widely and clearly perceived as advancing or
exacerbating the conflict, then it's worth a good close look.

Academics do seem to be somewhat more contrary about these things than
most, but I wouldn't let that stop me before I start.

Ralph Copleman
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