AW: documentation of "short stories"

Erich Kolenaty e.kolenaty at
Mon Dec 20 09:10:52 PST 1999


the question you are bringing up is busying us at the moment. We try to do
some experimental work with "micro-spaces" at the moment, meetings were you
run one, may be two working sessions, maybe in a conitinuing process. By
doing "short stories" in my opinion it is not unsolusable to open the space
in brief, to bring up the themes and to make the people work. The main
question is who to arrange both: the connection off the people at the end
and the fusion of the outcomes.

What we tried so far:

1 Closing the meeting with a talkingstickround, no reports, no immediate
documentation. workshop-inviters use visualizations to make a report after.
The participants get the collection as soon as possible. This works, but is
not very satisfying. People don't get an instant feeling of the "whole
elephant" and after three weeks you sufffer a bad loss of energy.

2 In a break bitween workshops and closing round the invitors write
one-page-reports by hand. We copy immediately and give it out to the
participants at the end. This works, especially in not very specified
enviroments e.g. with voluntary participants, where you cannot use the
official communication base of an organization. It is not very satisfying,
because it is producing, like we say "Zettelwirtschaft" - piles of papers -
and leaves a lack of connection. Fully reports can follow if possible..

3 .We tried reports of three minutes each, which is working splendid in a
RTSC-setting, .but in an OS-seeting it is terrible boring. (ok ok, there has
not really been a need to try it by working on OS-rules). Anyway:
hypothesis: folks cannot integrate so many (even 10-20 ) different workouts
in a short time, when they are still hanging on there own. Written reports
like above. Summary: It is nice to hear, but you don't understand a lot.

4. What is working best with a limited number of people (let's say up to 10,
max. 15 working groups a round) is to generate a new social structure for
30 -45 minutes: The working groups are still sitting together in circles
like leaves of a flower and in the inner circle the facilitator is sitting
with the workshop invitors and talks about what they feel about the work in
the groups and what they think the main results have been. After this:
talking stick round or next working round. Theres is less focus on the
contents and more attention to the links bitween. For some reasons the
"inner space intervention" gathers more attention and satisfaction as any
other way handling with "micro-spaces".

I would like to share your experiences by doing short (and continuing)
meetings using  OS

best wishes to you all for christmas and the Y2K

from Vienna

Erich Kolenaty
TRAIN Management Trainings- und

A- 1070 Wien, Zollerg. 7/6
Tel. +43-1/526 07 408, Fax: +43-1/526 07 409
mobil: +43-1/110 75 20
e-mail: e.kolenaty at, www.

  Also, there's a practical side to this question: what is the best way to
capture the documentation from the 3.5 hour community sessions?

  Any thoughts would be appreciated!

  Peg Holman

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