[OSList] brainstorming and open space

Michael M Pannwitz mmpanne at boscop.org
Wed Feb 8 04:37:51 PST 2012

Dear Lisa,
I stumbled myself with the notion that open space, as some other tools, 
is a tool for generating ideas. Generating ideas is not a bad idea and 
it may happen, too, in open space. What I have observed repeatedly is 
that OST expands time and space for the unfolding of the forces of 
selforganisation, something I have not observed so overtly with any 
other approach.
The "signs" for me, aside from generating ideas (come ot think of it, I 
have rarely seen just "ideas" generated in open space but rather stuff 
such as action) are:
-navigating in a complex environment
-investing in community
-leading (one, several, all, some at one time, others at other times)
-taking action
-striking deals
Granted, all this stuff happens in every day life (ungoing open space) 
but it does come in a deluge in OST settings I have experienced.

I also stumbled myself with the notion of overwhelmed clients. Maybe the 
client as a person (like the guy who pays my fee) is occasionally 
overwhelmed, frustrated, full of fear of losing control etc. but the 
"system" (assembled body, group) I never find overwhelmed, seems it can 
navigate slews of raw data or whatever we find to be overwhelming with ease.
I often get the sense, that facilitators are overwhelmed, especially 
when I see this happen to me. Its a wonderful sign telling me to step 
back, take a break, get out of the way, not mess with selforganisation...

Cheers, see you in London in October!

PS: By the way, any rumors on where the WOSonOS in 2013 will be? (If I 
recollect the sacred rules, its supposed to be neither in Europe nor in 
the Americas but in "another" place)

On 08.02.2012 03:38, Lisa Heft wrote:
>     /No matter what version of brainstorming happens the end result is
>     raw data. The next steps are super critical: stepping back looking
>     for emerging patterns and organizing to see what the picture is once
>     you take into account the group's resources vs. the impact. /
> Well said, Kas. And not all of that may happen in the same event - it
> may serve to step away for a time to allow for some reflection and
> integration of the data before stepping back to look for emerging patterns.
> Whether using Open Space, kinesthetic modeling, mind-mapping or other
> tools for generating ideas around issues and opportunities.
> Too often I have seen some process or design used for a meeting without
> connection to what comes just before, what follows, and how the
> information generated will be used - including things like context,
> culture, and organizational capacity.
> I think most of this becomes apparent in the pre-work as long as we do
> not look too narrowly just at our own event in the chain of things...
> I have also seen good rich fabulous raw data generated and the client
> has been overwhelmed.
> I think that this too can be helped with thoughtful pre-work - knowing
> the realities and capacities of an organization or community to use what
> comes out of an Open Space (or other) event can help us not overwhelm an
> organization with new info but instead to design documentation - or
> different ways to group or look at the documentation - so it is useful
> both to participants and to the hosting organization both immediately
> and long after the event.
> I look forward to hearing others' experiences...
> Lisa
> Lisa Heft
> Consultant, Facilitator, Educator
> Fellow, Columbia University Center for International Conflict Resolution
> Opening Space
> lisaheft at openingspace.net <mailto:lisaheft at openingspace.net>
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Michael M Pannwitz, boscop eg
Draisweg 1, 12209 Berlin, Germany
++49-30-772 8000
mmpanne at boscop.org	www.boscop.org

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