Major downsizing

kenoli Oleari kenoli at
Fri May 11 11:38:08 PDT 2001

Thomas and everyone -- I am new to this list, pulled in by Jeff A.,
Lisa H. , Peggy H. and others.  Glad to be here. It sounds like a
lively group.  I do OD work focusing on whole systems approaches,
including Open Space.    You can check my website out at:

It is a sad story your are telling and so typical that the community
is willing to sacrifice so much in order to buy into "free market
conditions".  What is happening to our world?

I have a few thoughts. Why is this happening?  Is it because of
budget shortfalls?  If this is the case, is the system still open to
other options?  If so, perhaps the event could focus on what else
might happen that could meet budget needs (and other givens) and save
the curriculum and jobs.  Other options might be an open space giving
people a chance to talk to each other about what is going on and how
they are going to cope with it. Another possibility would be to hold
the Open Space after the changes have been made and use it as a
re-design under the new conditions.

The real issue here, is that the group that needs to decide on what
the focus should be is the system itself.  Are you working with a
planning team that reflects the larger system?  A group like this is
really the appropriate body to answer the question you have posed to
this list.

Good Luck,


>Hi list-friends.
>A client of mine has planned to hold a 2-day OST with all 170 staff, in
>june, the last days before they all go for summervacation. The theme was to
>concern the future of their school (working with "adult learning"). They are
>in the process of changing from public funding to "free market conditions".
>5 public schools will be in a corporation owned by the municipality. Now it
>seems that they will loose a lot of the courses they have given before and
>face serious downsizing. The circumstances will be made clear the coming
>days. The headmaster believes that maybe 50 out of a total 170 persons on
>his school will have to leave. It is likely that there will be some
>reorganizations between the 5 schools serving different local areas. They
>probably all face lay offs.
>It seems pretty clear that a OST conference on the future of the school is
>not suitable as a lot of the people coming would not be inspired to plan for
>something they may not even be part of. But they do have a need to
>communicate and support each other though this. I think OST would still be
>suitable but I guess the theme should focus on the issue which is everybodys
>concern right now. I promised to make some research on experiences in
>similair situations. I would very much appreciate if you would like to
>Greetings from sunny Sweden (summer is coming over here)
>Thomas Herrmann      Phone +46 (0)709-98 97 81
>Open Space Consulting
>Pensévägen 4
>434 46 Kungsbacka, Sweden
>Email: thomas.herrmann at
>Medlem i BNI - nätverk för affärer (
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Kenoli Oleari, Horizons of Change,
1801 Fairview Street, Berkeley, CA  94703   Voice Phone: 510-601-8217,
Fax: 510-595-8369, Email: kenoli at (or click on: mailto://

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