New practice

Elwin and Joan elwinandjoan at
Tue Feb 13 05:23:03 PST 2001

Dear György,

You wrote:
> I could never ask money for helping someone, because
> it is not MY energy (and I am not professional
> enough, and it is very difficult, if I
> The question: how do you quote prices to the
> clients. Is it a daily based fee, or something else?
> Clients - In relationship with the above issue - I
> read jealously your report about working with
groups, > that have thecorresponding groups in Hungary
> minorities) and could never raise any found to pay
> any fee for something like the OS.
> So at the moment I see as potential client only the
> multinationals, getting to Hungary and trying to
> introduce a new management/organization culture.
                All you need to do OST successfully in Hungary is
                1) carefully read (and re-read) Harrison's book-
        "Open Space Technology; A Users Guide" and
                2) Follow the guide's instructions with the
                 "SPIRIT" required (that you clearly have now).

                I have conducted many many successful OST's in the
                Balkan countries- "it always works!!"

                I understand your concern about people paying you
                for facilitating a conference. In their (and your)
          thinking such work produces (gives) nothing and so
                they should pay nothing!  That is NOT TRUE!  It is
                your "responsibility" to market the value of your
                "service."  Here is my advice:

                        1) Do not try to organize an OST.  That should
                 be done by some one who is responsible for the
                 outcome(s).  Find those people - organizations and
                        "sell" your service to them.  They will find the
                 money to do it.

                2) When you sell OST do not use the name OST etc.
                Sell it as large group workshop/conference
                facilitation. This avoids the "lunatic staff"
                problem.  What you have is a method for problem
                solving (OST) and it is the BEST method now known
                and it is a proven one (be ready to speak about the
                specific successes you read about on OSLIST etc)

                3) Your sales talk should focus on the following:
                        a) Is there a real issue / problem?
                        b) Are many people interested in fixing the
                        c) Are the peoples views strong and conflicting?
                        d) Is there a desire for a "real" outcome?

        If the answer to EACH of those questions is YES!
Then OST is the best way I know to satisfy the people

In my work the NGO's and Private Business Associations
have all received funding for OST from International
donors.  There is nothing wrong with that and I
suspect it is your best chance.  But the getting of
the funds is the job of the organization you are
serving; not your job.  Sure you will help them
develop their proposal but that is all.  In helping
with the proposal development you must announce your
fee.  That is the way the "free market" (where nothing
is free) works!

So, get the book. read it!  Believe it! And get

Best of luck.  Let us know what develops.

Elwin Guild
Future Development International
1307 Bolton Street
Baltimore, MD 21217
(410) 669-6734
elwinandjoan at

Do You Yahoo!?
Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35
a year!

To subscribe, unsubscribe, change your options,
view the archives of oslist at

To subscribe,
1.  Visit:
2.  Sign up -- provide an email address,
    and choose a login ID and password
3.  Click on "Subscribe" and follow the instructions

To unsubscribe, change your options,
view the archives of oslist at
1.  Visit:
2.  Sign in and Proceed

>From  Tue Feb 13 08:54:41 2001
Message-Id: <TUE.13.FEB.2001.085441.0600.>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 08:54:41 -0600
Reply-To: mherman at
From: Michael Herman <mherman at>
Organization: Michael Herman Associates
Subject: Re: New practice
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1; x-mac-type="54455854";
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

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

To subscribe, unsubscribe, change your options,
view the archives of oslist at

To subscribe,
1.  Visit:
2.  Sign up -- provide an email address,
    and choose a login ID and password
3.  Click on "Subscribe" and follow the instructions

To unsubscribe, change your options,
view the archives of oslist at
1.  Visit:
2.  Sign in and Proceed

More information about the OSList mailing list