Soft Skills and OS

Joelle Lyons Everett JLEShelton at
Wed May 23 16:02:36 PDT 2001


I had an opportunity to convene a three-day Open Space with graduate
management students who were finishing a 2-year weekend program, as well as
their core faculty.  The subject focused on maintaining community, both their
own community after the end of the program and the general idea of community
in their own organizations.

It turned out to be a great opportunity to bring a variety of issues to some
kind of closure.  Problems which had hung around for months were made the
subject of sessions, and excellent work done with them.  Individuals had
opportunity to talk about how much the program and the other students and
faculty had meant to them.  Plans were laid for keeping in contact after
classes ended.  The whole time had a feeling of "all the things you've been
wanting to say and never quite got around to until now."  Conversations were
focused and productive.

The major problem which surfaced, and was not totally worked out, was how to
make the OS truly a matter of choice, when all students were held responsible
for those three days of class.

This group originally intended to facilitate their own Open Space, which
several members were very capable of doing.  As others have indicated, having
an outsider who was not attached to possible outcomes turned out to be

Joelle Everett
jleshelton at

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