[OSList] First open space, advices needed :)

Alan Halford via OSList oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Sun Jan 4 16:45:33 PST 2015

Not sure what you guys ate and drank over the holiday period, but it is doing me a lot of good

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On 5 Jan 2015, at 6:13 am, Harrison Owen via OSList <oslist at lists.openspacetech.org <mailto:oslist at lists.openspacetech.org>> wrote:

Chris – I do love it when you do what you do!  “ fuzzy purpose is really, really useful” ... you said.
A favorite theme of myself. Sometimes expressed as, “Confusion is the first step to wisdom.” It has been my experience, doubtless due to frailties of various sorts (senility, whatever) – but one thing I have learned is that precisely when I am sure that I have it all “locked up,” – really know and understand what I am saying and thinking...  that is proof positive that I don’t have a clue. That there is more... much more... coming just over the hill.  Our certainty almost inevitably excludes the most exciting part. Our confusion opens wonderful space for possibility.
Thank You!
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From: OSList [mailto:oslist-bounces at lists.openspacetech.org <mailto:oslist-bounces at lists.openspacetech.org>] On Behalf Of Chris Corrigan via OSList
Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2015 3:16 PM
To: Anne-Béatrice Duparc; World wide Open Space Technology email list
Subject: Re: [OSList] First open space, advices needed :)
Sometimes though, fuzzy purpose is really really useful.  I’ve had situations where a group is really sure of what it is doing, and what it exists for and yet nothing is working.  
This happens a lot with mainline churches these days, many of whom are certain that they can recreate the “success” they had in the 1960s.  They are certainly clear on their purpose, but the harder they try, the worse they make it for themselves.  
And so we have run OST meetings where the purpose was unclear and fuzzy and people simply proposed topics that interested them.  And it turns out that that is a good way to discover the new directions you are trying to get into.  Of course all groups need a boundary, and in the case that immediately comes to mind, the question was “What else can we be?” 
People felt that was too fuzzy to get any kind of strategic work done, but what happened was that it invited people into a now three year journey of wayfinding together.  Which, it turns out, is a good purpose for a church.
I think it’s not my job to “help people discover what they should be doing” even in Open Space.  I can, however, help hold space so that people can explore the fuzziness and confusion that they find themselves in AND I can model behaviour of not needing to know, of avoiding premature convergence of ideas and purpose, so that the innovation and wisdom and leadership at the margins can come forward.  
In the parlance of software developers, not knowing what to do is a feature of living in this world, not a bug.
> On Jan 3, 2015, at 2:00 AM, Anne-Béatrice Duparc via OSList <oslist at lists.openspacetech.org <mailto:oslist at lists.openspacetech.org>> wrote:
> I love how you put it in words John. I will discuss it today with the caller. Indeed there is much that seems already prepared and "shoulds". I hope I can help them let go of it.
> Thanks for the reminder,
> Message: 3
> Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 16:56:24 +1030
> From: John Baxter via OSList <oslist at lists.openspacetech.org <mailto:oslist at lists.openspacetech.org>>
> To: Gail West <icataiw at gmail.com <mailto:icataiw at gmail.com>>, World wide Open Space Technology
>     email list    <oslist at lists.openspacetech.org <mailto:oslist at lists.openspacetech.org>>
> Subject: Re: [OSList] First open space, advices needed :)
> Message-ID:
>     <CAJpg6=RAR3tnEUhzgFsTZ6HSZTKsUh=EB06QfoPbmhENwSBULA at mail.gmail.com <mailto:EB06QfoPbmhENwSBULA at mail.gmail.com>>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> If you can help the group to become clear about what the most important
> focus/challenge/question is for them *now*, then they will be able to let
> go of all those preconceived discussion topics in order to address their
> priority.
> If the purpose is fuzzy then all people have to go on is their baggage and
> prepared ideas.  This makes it hard for people to embrace the space, and
> they are likely to walk away disappointed (though they may still get a lot
> done).
> Overall, it will be useful to help people find what they really want to *do*,
> vs what they think they should *talk about*.  I don't really know how to
> describe this better, nor how you should do it.  But it might help.
> Cheers
> *John Baxter*
> *Cocreation Consultant & ?Co?Create Adelaide Facilitator*
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> Anne-Béatrice Duparc
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