"When leaders of three large community based organisations invited Michael Wood to conduct an Open Space to help work out how we could all work better to reduce the fracturing of families, we knew that we wanted to do something more creative than running a forum. What we wanted was someone to help us develop a dynamic space in which concerned people could move past their distress and would feel invigorated and safe enough to share their dreams about change. Indeed we called it a dreaming exercise. It was an outstanding success. Unanimous approval from seventy participants who chose to be there is a rare event. And the energy continues as we now develop the strategies.
-Maria Harries, Mercy Care-
Open Space Technology
When life in our organisation is under stress, when we're immersed in multi-stakeholder challenges, or when we're faced with apparently irreconcilable perspectives on an issue, we can bend ourselves into knots trying to find the 'right' answer'.
The trouble with complex, or what are sometimes called 'wicked', problems is that they often involve multiple players with competing needs and priorities. Creating on apparent 'solution' can set up unexpected ripple effects in other parts of the system. At other times, things are changing so quickly that it's simply impossible to plan too far ahead. Rather, we need to be highly responsive to the present moment.
One really powerful approach to engaging with complexity, and enabling the collaborative leadership which complexity demands, is to apply Open Space Technology principles and approaches. This begins by re-framing the question from 'what do I do here', to 'what can we do together?'
We are national leaders in the application of 'Open Space Technology' as an approach for working through complexity, diversity, innovation, transition and change. We can:
- facilitate Open Space meetings from small through to large groups (300+
people). This can be done in physical meeting space or using online
- teach, coach and mentor you or your staff how to facilitate Open Space
Technology in your community or organisation as a 'paradigm' of leadership.