New practice

Michael Herman mherman at
Tue Feb 13 06:54:41 PST 2001

welsome györgy,

a couple of comments to follow michael, harrison and elwin...

1.  fees, flat fees... i  am not quoting a flat fee for open space work
these days, but instead am quoting a day fee and a number of days, which is
only slightly different.  this lets me say  $$$ (and i start with the
corporate sort of rate) per day AND 3-4 days of total time for each day or
partial day in open space.  i find that by separating the daily rate and
the number of days in this way, we can talk about shifting the rate to
accommodate groups with less cash AND at the same time not lose track of
the actual time that will be spent on the things michael pannwitz lists out
so nicely.  people are often surprised by the number of days, and surprised
again when we look into all of the ways we prepare for and follow up on
what is to happen in the event.  also, i find that most groups don't need
lots of attention to every aspect of prep/follow, but that most groups do
have one specific area where extra time and attention is helpful.   i often
tell folks that i've never not done one of these events because of money
issues.  sometimes that is because i'm willing to come down on my day
rate.  sometimes that is because they come to understand the time and
attention that will go into it and decide to pay for more of the days i
know i will give to it.

2.  getting started... elwin says don't organize an event yourself, but
find others to hire you, others with responsibiltiiy for outcomes.  my
experience was opposite.  we say that we live in open space.  i set out to
test this and have found it to be true.  when clients seemed scarce in the
beginning, i identified the issues that i thought were most important to
focus attention on and issued my own invitations, one or two per year,
sometimes sponsored by local church-related organization, and used this
approach to practice my own style, introduce others to the method, let
others know about the topics that i cared about, get known for bringing
attention and posting learnings about those topics, also get firsthand
experience with the risks and uncertainties and discomforts of bringing
something i am passionate about to a public, open forum.  this last one
makes it much harder than opening space for others' issues, but gave me
more appreciation for the tensions they feel in bringing their issues into
an open space meeting.   if you see that this method can help your
community/society there, you probably see some specific issues or ways that
your place could be different or better.  i think it's okay to get known as
someone who invites others to look into those needs/possibilities and gets
things started.  like i say, it's trickier, but possible.  it also makes
for less pressure about the money and getting paid for doing a practice
that you're still unsure about.

3.  getting known... hee hee hee... (warning, webmaster
about to invite you into responsibility)... if you notice that the website now has opening pages in 6 different languages.
there is a nice short welcome page and a longer (page and a half) "what is
open space" article.  one thing you might do that would help build your
credibility is to translate those two beginning pages and we put your name
down as translator on them.  if you copy those pages and translate the
text, i will put it into the website.  then you can use the 'what is open
space' article in hungarian and it will come from the worldwide website
with your name on it.  michael pannwitz is right.  lunatic for sure this
is.  but sometimes it helps to be able to show that you're not the only

in the end i agree with the others, though... read the book, find a group
or an issue and just do it.  the learning and successes will follow.




Michael Herman
300 West North Avenue #1105
Chicago IL 60610
312-280-7838 voice
312-280-7837 fax
-evolution at work - online book on open space
-michael herman associates - consulting - online open space
-websites worth visiting - community
-michael's open notebook - journal

mailto:mherman at

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