OS for small group

Barbara E. Sliter besliter at eos.net
Mon Aug 23 15:50:51 PDT 1999

I think three days is a grand amount of time for an OS.

I could see how the OS retreat time could be a  chance for the Board to
themselves, get to know each other, maybe bring something they'd like to
share/do with the others, and reflect on what is  "up for them" with the
current changes.  It could work  as a preamble to the more specific content
work they have to address. Or possibly  they'll elect to stay in OS for that
part of the meeting as well.

I facilitated an OS for a "Walk With Women" annual event held at HopeSprings
in Peebles, OH. There were 12 women and it worked beautifully.  Some
breakouts ranged from 2-3 people, others were the whole group and still for
some time blocks individuals spent the time alone with their thoughts in a
way that made sense to them.  It went from Thursday night through Saturday
just before dinner.

Everyone was going through upheaval at the time and a specific agenda didn't
feel right.
The OS was framed  around "what was up for them" as they arrived at the
Some of the people knew each other for a long time (ten plus years) but
others were new to the group.  They mixed based on interest and it worked
well.  The openness of it allowed them to build in some playful times (it
was summer and the facility invites outside activities)  as well as serious
discussions.   Massages were made available in the evenings for those

>From: Betty Didcoct <betty at IC.ORG>
>Subject: OS for small group
>Date: Sun, Aug 22, 1999, 3:35 PM

> My question is this - there are only 5 board members (plus one exec
> director,and  one newsletter editor.).... I am having trouble envisioning how
the process
> would be productive for such a small number.
> The organization is in flux and needs to change. The original director has
> retired. Many of the "older" members are stepping back from many years of
> taking volunteer leadership roles. Regional organizations (some affiliated
> and some not) are becoming more developed. Membership criteria is being
> questioned. There is a feeling that something new is afoot (maybe even the
> dissolution of the organization,) but no one can quite grab the essence of
> it.
> Any hints from the pros out there who have used Open Space with small groups?
> Thanks
> -Betty
> _________________________________________________________________
>  Betty Didcoct              TIES Consulting
>    betty at ic.org               Building TIES between people to
>    phone:   360-221-3064      facilitate better meetings &
>    fax:     360-221-7828      healthier organizations
> __________________________________________________________________

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