[OSList] Whatever happens...

Harrison Owen via OSList oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Tue Feb 2 06:51:41 PST 2016

Small suggestion Stuart... next time you find yourself cramped for time/spaces just invite everybody to create more time/space. No hassle. No haggle... Just announce your issues, take a blank post-it (you will need some blanks) describe a time, choose a space (the Piano, patio, bar for examples) and post it on the wall. No sweat and you will have plenty of time for a break.


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-----Original Message-----
From: OSList [mailto:oslist-bounces at lists.openspacetech.org] On Behalf Of Stuart Turner via OSList
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2016 4:33 AM
To: oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Subject: [OSList] Whatever happens...

Yesterday I facilitated a two-hour open space at the end of a training course for 30 people. I explained the principles, the law, etc. and described the marketplace. The marketplace had four time slots across the top and four locations down the side. After they had filled the marketplace with about 25 sessions, they asked me what they should do. I said “It’s up to you”. They started swapping the headings so times now went down the side and locations went across the top.

Thinking of the many suggestions to "get out of the way” and “make it obvious you’re not an authority”, I decided to take a bathroom break.

On my return I approached one of the spaces to find several of the sessions pasted on the wall. I turned to look at the marketplace to discover only the time slots and locations remained. Each location had all its sessions stuck on the wall.

Whatever happens, I thought.

After noticing there was some confusion about trying to discuss all sessions at the same time, conversations moved to become about a more defined topic (at least of few of which were not one of the topics on the wall).

The closing circle had about half the participants speak, with many sounding quite enthusiastic about their experience and what the theme meant for their organisation. I noticed many of the people were directing their summary to the most senior person in the room. Some even referred to that person specifically “I don’t know if I should say this while the boss is here”, and similar comments.

I wondered whether the space was beginning to close at that time.

Perhaps I could have done a better job of facilitating or explaining, during the introduction. Regardless, it’s probably the only thing that could have happened.

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