small issues - other methods, and manageres and consultants etc

Chris Corrigan corcom at
Wed Feb 21 11:04:12 PST 2001

My two cents in this discussion goes something like this...

I don't sell OST.  What I am "selling" (or more correctly, what my
client is "buying") is a certain result.  When I am contacted by a
client, as I was this morning, who wants a meeting full of input and yet
structures an agenda with lots of talking heads, I challenge their
assumptions a little.  Do you really want to hear from people?  If yes,
then what is the bare minumum we can tell people to get them going?  And
just how much do you want to hear from folks???

Most clients tell me they really want to hear a lot from people, so I
tell them that I have a process that will maximize that component and
then I usually ask them if they have ever heard of OST.  If the answer
is yes, we save some time.  If no, then I explain what's likely to
happen and what they can expect.  The words "Open Space Technology" may
never cross my lips again, unless they get curious about what we're

In short, as a facilitator I have a number of tools I use to meet my
clients expectations.  OST is one of them.  And it always EXCEEDS
expectations.  So no one seems to mind paying me to do it for them.

As long as I deliver the results I say I can deliver, my clients don't
seem to mind if I spend the whole day asleep, so it's not really a
question of doing nothing elegantly as it is doing what you say you're
going to do.  Most clients want to get somewhere and don't care how.
When I explain the how, most of them still don't care.  But after we do
an OST meeting, a lot of them express delight over the how.  And if they
never hire me again because it seems that I have done nothing, no
matter.   That's their choice (but it's never happened).  People are
always amazed about what they can do when everything clears out of their
way.  Anyone who has paid a bagpiper to STOP playing in front of their
window knows that there is a certain value is "doing nothing"

So my advice is not to get too hung up on the process, because most
people wouldn't know "process" if it came up and shook their hand.  I am
not an OST facilitator; I am a facilitator.  And I use OST.

(Sounds like a recovery meeting!)


Consultation - Facilitation
Open Space Technology

108-1035 Pacific Street
Vancouver BC
V6E 4G7

Phone: 604.683.3080
Fax: 604.683.3036
corcom at

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