[OSList] the oracle's musings

Artur Silva arturfsilva at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 24 05:25:41 PST 2012

Agreed! It is always good to hear from you, Kerry.


 From: Kerry Napuk <knapuk at gmail.com>
To: oslist at lists.openspacetech.org 
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:27 PM
Subject: [OSList] the oracle's musings

Hi Harrison

Enjoyed your analogy of teaching someone to fish in lieu of handing them a fish.  It certainly is applicable to the failures of traditional foreign aid.

Yeah, Open Space is easy.  I facilitated my first group with 175 people in an old tram works in Glasgow for the entire theatre sector of Scotland.  My training was reading your Handbook and a weekend course in OD.  But, like most simple things, you can spend your life working on it.  So, simple it is, but practising and perfecting it is an art.

I now have done over 100 events with a bit more than 7,000 participants and I still am amazed at large group energy and dynamics.  It sure beats facilitating top teams in organisations who, agree a vision and strategy, then watch it fail when they try to cascade it downwards.  Nobody buys in, because they were not a part of its creation. 

It is far easier to get the whole system in one room and let people commit at the point of participation.  After all, what more can you ask than an organisation creating the space where people totally equal contribute and participate on a level field.  Nobody is in control and nobody can influence outcomes.  So, there can be no stacked deck or hidden agendas.

That is yet another thing so brilliant about Open Space, you can seed the field with grass and players far faster than any other large group process.  Flexibility is the hallmark of Open Space, along with its complete bottom up self organisation driven by motivation and action through passion (care enough about something to stand up in front of everyone with your burning issue) and responsibility (care enough to lead a group and do something about your passion.)

Simple it is, but you can spend a life time working on it.  In this respect, Open Space has a Zen like quality.  Practise, practise, polish, polish.

So, thank you Harrison for your laziness and penchant for martinis.  You have done well.  And we all can attest to your generosity as David Osborne discovered.  You gave your creation to the world without strings and without royalties.  Bravo!



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