CornerStone Consulting Associates
Welcome To Open Space Open Space Technology
Bringing The Whole System Into One Room

The Fourfold Way Open Space convenes large groups of people, engaging them in constructive conversation on a focussed topic in a highly participative manner. Supporting group sizes of 25 to 400, Open Space encompasses one to three days depending upon desired outcomes. Following a well- established process, the collective group takes responsibility for the detailed agenda and proceedings such that the outcome is always relevant and appropriate. OST is based on the concept of a community of collaboration and a village marketplace of ideas. Participants continually move between community and the marketplace of issues and topics. This introduces a constant mixing and cross-pollenization of group input, producing systemic and sustainable results.

Open Space is an intricately structured process founded upon passion for change and a balance of individual and group responsibility. Some organizations are employing these session structures to accomplish strategic visioning, new product development and problem resolution as well as to address many other tough challenges which cannot be resolved without systemic intervention. Others are using these session structures to deepen insight and broaden understanding about future organizational concepts and markets.

Printed results of the complete proceedings may be made available by the end of the event through a shared ownership process. Open Space dissolves barriers to collaboration while effectively building alignment and shared purpose. Buy-in of proceedings and resulting actions are immediate and thorough. Minimal lead and design time is required.

The key factor to determining group size is adequate physical space. Since a successful outcome is predicated on good communication and dialogue, the introductory event and subsequent breakout discussions are conducted in a circle. The importance of the circle cannot be overemphasized. It is critical to the openness and authenticity of the communication.

The Principles Of Open SpaceOpen Space is a large group process that brings ”the whole system into the room.” Open Space increases collaboration by combining the open marketplace of ideas with the building of a learning community. Open Space capitalizes on the richness and adaptability found in the harmonious integratation (not homogenization) of diversity. Each person is fully heard, takes responsibility for their own learning, and gains a true sense of identity. The collective knowledge of the entire organization is integrated and brought to bear on immediate solutions as well as long-term capabilities. Choices and consequences are connected systemically, enhancing Systems Thinking and Organizational responsiveness. Transformations required for new leadership skills at all levels are learned as people shift from determining fixed futures to building environments capable of bringing forth the best choices and opportunities.

The Law Of Two FeetOpen Space has broad application. Because it runs on sincere passion bounded by responsibility, it can be used to begin and support a new initiative or to provide ownership of ongoing efforts. It's power and effectiveness comes from it's ability to surface root causes and fundamental issues -- avoiding effort wasted in treating symptoms. Open Space is becoming commonplace as an ongoing learning and decision-making process within many companies. It can be used to begin a series of workshops with an organization, creating common ground, relevant context and shared interest as a point of origin. Open Space has been used successfully to de-fuse highly charged situations in many different countries and cultures -- going well beyond to build a shared future and structures to sustain it.

Open Space allows large groups of people to collectively and collaboratively surface and address complex, diverse issues. For Open Space to be highly successful, it must focus on a real issue -- business or otherwise -- which is of passionate concern to those who will be involved.

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CornerStone Consulting Associates
Bringing Systems to Life
2761 Stiegler Road - Valley City OH 44280 - US

fax: 330-725-2729