WTO; drop-off

Peg Holman pholman at msn.com
Tue Dec 7 08:24:56 PST 1999


I did an Open Space in Las Vegas (!!) for a group a couple years ago.
During the closing circle one of the participants talked about what a
perfect experience it was for him.  He said he really needed a vacation but
wanted to be at this conference.  The Open Space gave him permission to be
at the meetings he really cared about and to go play the rest of the time --
without guilt.  And this was the Association of Jewish Community
Professionals, so they really know how to do guilt!


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Aitken" <jeffa at tmn.com>
Sent: Monday, December 06, 1999 11:32 PM
Subject: Re: WTO; drop-off

> David corrected me: the WTO piece was written by Susan Partnow on the AI
> list and David forwarded it to us.
> Regarding drop-off: I opened the space on the second day of a four-day
> annual conference last spring near Lake Tahoe - 380 people in three
> concentric circles. There were 23 sessions created and 90% of those who
> participated were very satisfied based on their feedback at the end. But
> there were only 125 in the sessions. Everyone else went skiing or gambling
> etc! It was a shock at first but I had to figure that the law of two skis
> (or two blackjack cards?) is a wonderful and powerful thing. No doubt
> everyone got what they needed (or lost what they brought)
> Jeff
> Jeff Aitken
> PO Box 1092
> Inverness CA 94937
> 415-663-8789
> ja at svn.net

>From  Tue Dec  7 15:20:57 1999
Message-Id: <TUE.7.DEC.1999.152057.0500.>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 15:20:57 -0500
Reply-To: lpasoc at inforamp.net
From: Larry Peterson <lpasoc at inforamp.net>
Subject: Re: WTO; drop-off
In-Reply-To: <l03130305b472666e74fa@[]>
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I have also led a number of Open Space events at conferences where there has
been some drop-off by closure, and some who chose not to attend. I think
this is normal for conferences anyway. The stakes are very different,
individual learning rather than organizational performance. People at
conferences have tended to use the Law of Two Feet and just skip sessions to
go shopping or skiing. Many come just to hear the "famous" speakers, to be
entertained. Open Space is not that kind of entertainment.

However, there have been a few OS events that began small and grew in
participation by the time of closure like the one mentioned by Audrey. I
recently led an Open Space in Baker Lake, Nunavut, with a largely Inuit
participation. We had more at closure than we started with.

When dealing with issues of real importance to an organization, I have only
seen limited drop-off, usually due to other commitments that could not be
changed (like any meeting).


Larry Peterson
Associates in Transformation
41 Appleton Ave., Toronto, ON,
Canada, M6E 3A4
Tel:/Fax: 416-653-4829

lpasoc at inforamp.net

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