Kathleen A Pichola kapich at juno.com
Mon Oct 25 09:24:39 PDT 1999

Dear Open Space folks

Hi.  I am Kathleen Pichola, from Cleveland, Ohio and new to the world of
consulting. I have been a private practice psychotherapist for the past
12 years.  I ended this practice in May of 98 and am moving toward new
work that involves larger groups of people and transformation that
affects many. I have been aware of openspace for several years and have
attended several trainings with Harrison and Birgitt.  However, I have
not done any consulting to date.  I feel ready to open this new work for
myself by going out into the world and opening spaces, but have many

 My passion lives with the public school systems.  I was an educator or
10 years before I trained as a psychologist.  I would love to help
children everywhere by improving the ways in which schools meet
children's needs.

 I had a preliminary meeting with a central staff administrator in charge
of community/school relations.  She seemed interested in Open Space but
declared that she has no budget.  She sent me to an exec director of a
well funded clearinghouse organization that has as it's mission to
improve the schools countywide.  They have just spent time and money on a
training program for parents called naming and renaming.  They are quite
excited about it.  The funding for this program ends in Dec.  I am to
call this exec when she returns to town, which is today.

My observations
1.  It seems to me that the whole educational system is very broken but
continues to limp along because it is funded by taxes.
2.  It seems to me that if education is to really change, the deep
structure, (as Birgitt names it in her training program,) needs to be
addressed, not just the behaviors and actions.
3. It seems to me that schools continue to add programs that address
behaviors but are like bandaids on a problem that requires major surgery.
 The current bandaids are volunteerism and parent involvement.
4.  It seems to me, when we are talking about education, we are talking
about the national, state and local systems, as well as the community of
parents and businesses.  I don't know anyone who is not affected by the
educational system come to think of it.
5.  It seems to me for real change to occur, this whole system needs to
be in the room as in Open space.
6.  It seems to me, there are many smaller systems within the larger
system that can use and benefit from open space.  Individual schools,
individual programs, local school systems etc.
7.  It seems to me that open space would be a perfect tool to create the
kind of changes that are desparately needed  and long overdue in the
8.  It seems to me that nationally, we are beginning to focus on
education as a priority, and that the time may be right for this kind of

My Questions:

1.  How does one access educational decisionmakers to make them aware of
open space and the potential it has to offer?
         I have considered doing informational presentations to businesses,
rotaries, kiwanas (I like giving speeches) In order to inform a large
group of community stakeholders.
         I have considered doing presentations for gatherings of
superintendents, principals, administraors.  Surely there must be such a
          A friend of mine suggested that I meet with a local superintendent who
has a reputation for being creative and progressive.  She suggested that
if I sold the idea to him and had success, he would make sure everyone
knew about it.
2.  I mentioned the exec director earlier.  I need to call her this week,
as she is just returning from out of town. I am not sure what to say to
her in an initial meeting.  I know open space would be an excellent match
for her and the mission of the organization.  I'm not sure how to let her
know that, or if it is even possible to sell open space by "cold calling
" like this.

I think that is enough for now.  I would appreciate any feedback and
wisdom that people can give.
I also would like  to know if there is anyone in the Cleveland area who
is doing open space?

Thanks to all,
Kathleen Pichola

Stories With Heart        &            Kapstone Consulting, Inc.
Kathleen A. Pichola, Ph.D
P.O. Box 19128                                E-mail Kapich at Juno.com
Cleveland, Ohio 44119-0128               Phone  216-531-6008
Stories open our hearts and feed our souls. Stories heal us.

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