Help with an Open Space for scientists

Richard Charles Holloway learnshops at
Tue Jul 27 23:19:01 PDT 1999


I recently facilitated an open space for a number of engineers, along with a
couple of OD consultants who had been working with the engineers.  The OD
consultants (and managers) wanted to include a "presentation" on all of the
work that had been done up to then.  I was resistant (in a nice way, I hope)
and convinced them to "post" the material (and there was a lot of it) on the
walls adjacent to our open space area.  The "Aha" came from the OD folks at
the end of the first day when they noticed that not one engineer or manager
had bothered to look at the material that had been so critical to the
success of the open space.

They (the consultants) are still using open space for this (now ongoing)
meeting and finding that the necessary things are being accomplished without
relying on all of the various OD tools that had been used previously.
Overall, I think that they feel guilty because they're not working as hard
as they were before!

I mention this because it seemed that there was a parallel.  Perhaps your
scientists can "post" their findings somewhere convenient for everyone to
look.  In this case, the allure of learning might draw some folks away from
a topic discussion...but then they're simply using their 2 feet to their



"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often."  Winston

Richard Charles Holloway -
P.O. Box 2361, Olympia, WA 98507 USA Telephone 253.539.4014 or 206.568.7730
OutSights <>

----- Original Message -----
From: Viv McWaters <viv at THEREEF.COM.AU>
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 1999 10:11 PM
Subject: Help with an Open Space for scientists

> Hello all
> Enthused and finally willing to take the risk after deepening my
> understanding of OS with Birgitt, I've put up a proposal to conduct a
> regular meeting of scientists using OS.
> This three-day meeting will be used to determine what the next phase of
> research should be after the completion of the current three-year program
> (in June 2000). The focus of research is eutrophication - or the causes of
> blue-green algae in waterways, making the water dangerous to fish, animals
> and humans - a serious environmental problem here in Australia.
> These scientists are generally resistant to process facilitation, let
> OS - but I think I can convince them of the benefits. My problem rests
> their desire to include the traditional scientific presentations of
> to date and feedback to each other. I have suggested that this could be a
> part of the OS - where there is passion and responsibility - but there is
> some resistance to this and a desire to schedule a specific session for
> these reports to everyone who attends.
> I am reluctant to do this (even at the beginning) because I think it will
> detract from the experience of OS - and I  know if I can convince them to
> try OS they will love it.
> Any suggestions?
> Cheers
> Viv
> Viv McWaters
> Integra Pty Ltd
> 45 Valentine Street, Ivanhoe 3079
> Victoria Australia
> Ph/Fax: 61 3 9499 9300
> "Thus the task is not so much to see what no-one yet has seen, but to
> what nobody yet has thought about that which everyone sees." Schopenhauer

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