Gerard Muller gm at openspace.dk
Tue Jun 10 22:51:21 PDT 2008

Dear Reinhard & Marianne,

Sounds very familiar ........... I agree with Kerry that having someone 
experience another OS is a good way forward.

Otherwise the only thing I have to add to what others already have 
written is two things I have sometimes done
when meeting the situation you describe:

1.	Propose other interactive meeting designs beside OS, and line up the 
pros and cons of each -
	typically the alternatives give the client more a sense of control 
over content and outcome, but the price
	they pay when comparing to OS is high ......... Rather than convincing 
to do OS, the discussion then becomes
   	a choice between alternatives. And ....... "a bit like OS" does not 
exist in my book, like you can't be a bit pregnant,

2.	I take the paradoxical approach, saying something like - clearly the 
most powerful design which meets your
	objectives would be Open Space Technology, but I am sorry to say that 
probably not all conditions which need
	to be there to be able to use the method are not in place .......
	I have found this often changes the discussion into one where the 
client starts to attempt to convince me that
	the conditions are in place. Not many like the idea that the best 
option is not available - possibly because of
	their own choices.

I would definitely not go for a compromise. And there seem to be many, 
many opportunities ...... Yesterday I facilitated
an Open Space and one of the participants, an Accenture manager, 
invited me to come and facilitate a one hour Open Space session. This 
afternoon I am meeting with a client who wants a two hour Open Space 
with 300 people at a large
fair ........ Sometimes it turns out more space can be created. If 
there isn't the space for an Open Space, that's just the only thing 
that could happen - and the thought or wish to try the real thing may 
linger on and emerge later.

Good luck !!

Gerard Muller

Open Space Institute Denmark
Phone: (+45) 21269621					Skype: openspace1
Mail: gm at openspace.dk

On Jun 10, 2008, at 1:05 PM, VISUELLE PROTOKOLLE wrote:

> Dear friends in open space,
>  I ask for your help in a difficult situation, and need it within 30 
> hours from now. So if somebody has an open ear and some time to 
> answer, we would be very grateful.
>  The situation: since 10 years i have been accompanying open space 
> sessions as a visual recorder. Now i have for the first time the 
> chance to use open space in a project on my own. It is in the frame of 
> a bigger project in a company of 6000, which deals with values, more 
> customer orientation, more emotions within the company, as the board 
> declared.  We proposed an open space session of one day with some 80 
> representatives of the coworkers, because we want to make their 
> situation and priorities visible, to bring the outcomes together 
> afterwards with the aims of the board, to define the frame, the aims 
> and rules and conditions of a project of about 2 years. We talked the 
> method over with the representative of the client, a young, friendly 
> hr-manager. He is curious, but a bit anxious, and under somer pression 
> from the different board members.
>  Now after some afterthoughts he declared, that he does not want an 
> open space session in pure form, because he thinks the people are not 
> ready for it. He is eager to end with some results he can control.
>  His proposal for the workshop: at the beginning a board member and he 
> will talk about the bigger project for half an hour, and show a little 
> movie, in order then to ask the people for ideas and proposals for the 
> definition of the longer project. He wants to avoid discussions about 
> the mistakes and problems within the company (which he says he knows 
> already), but to be more positive. He does not want to call the 
> workshop open space, but “offener raum”, does not want to use the 4 
> principles (although some of their contents), but wants to use the law 
> of two feet. When people are asked to bring their themes to the wall, 
> he wants to moderate that himself, ask additional questions about why 
> and how. Then he wants to walk through the groups and offer some 
> moderation there as well. And in the end he wants to interview the 
> people offering their outcomes to the plenum again.
>  We are near the point to step out of the whole project.
>  On one hand i remember discussions here in the open space network 
> about moderations of the os - method, for which we are open, and can 
> also follow some of the hr-managers ideas and doubts. But it has to 
> stay a trustworthy method. For that i would like to hear what you can 
> recommend us.
>  We asked for a meeting with the hr-manager to get clear with his and 
> our feelings, in order not to mix them with the methods and procedures 
> of the project, and will have this meeting this week.
>  The project came to the actual  situation, as i see it, because at 
> the beginning the hr-manager was very fond of us, proud to present us 
> to the board, and start the project with us. Then we had two 
> workshops, which ended with results, which did not fully fulfill his 
> expectations, and he somehow withdrew his trust. We don’t want to be 
> victims of an infringement (i hope that is the right expression), of 
> an unclear mixture  of roles and responsibilities. We want to stay 
> responsible for the methods we use.
>  The results of the project so far in our view gave a realistic image 
> of the situation within the company, which is not very open, but has a 
> good chance to profit from the project. But it is important not to 
> confuse the starting phase with the project, and not to expect final 
> results bevor it even starts. Seen with “open space – eyes” the 
> outcome was the only one that could have happened.
>  Now we want to clear our relations with the hr-manager on Thursday 
> and Friday, and – if we succeed – develop the agenda for the coworkers 
> workshop. For this second task we hope to get some help from you, as 
> what to propose to him.
>  Thank you for every response in advance
>  reinhard
>  Reinhard Kuchenmüller
>  Marianne Stifel
>  Kuchenmüller&Stifel
>  tel +39-0566-88 929
>  www.visuelle-protokolle.de
>   * * ========================================================== 
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