Musings of the Law of Two Feet

Harrison Owen owen at
Thu Aug 12 05:34:21 PDT 1999

At 03:09 PM 8/11/1999 -0700, you wrote:
>I have enjoyed reading about the liberating and empowering effect this
>law has on fellow facilitators. In Open Spaces sessions, however,  I
>have noticed that people are reluctant to apply it at first. Traditional
>meeting etiquette prevails and it looks like some people should
>butterfly or bumblebee themselves to somewhere else. As the process
>unfolds, people seem to realize that the Law of Two Feet really is an
>option and start to exercise it more readily. The group has to learn how
>to use the law and establish a new norm of behaviour.
Dealing with the Law of Two Feet is certainly one of the areas where we can
see that living in Open Space requires some skills that may have gotten a
little rusty. But there is no shortcut -- so far as I am aware -- and the
learning process stands the group in very good stead. Actually I find that
comforture with the Law of two feet is a very good indicator of the
maturity of the group. More comfortable >> more mature and therefore
(usually ) much more productive. I don't think there is any way to hurry
the process of learning along. They just have to find it for themselves.
But this learning takes place much more readily in two days that one...
which is another reason why I find a 2 day Open Space the best way to go in
virtually all circumstances. If it is worth while doing, do it well. And
for sure groups that try a "little bit of Open Space" (a morning for
example) either have to be damn good, damn lucky, or more usually -- damn


Harrison Owen
7808 River Falls Drive
Potomac, MD  20854

Summer address:
189 Beaucaire Ave.
RR Box 4248
Camden, ME

Phone 301-469-9269
Fax 301-983-9314
Maine Phone 207-763-3261

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