Michael Herman
Opening Space for Business Agility

 
 
 

from chris corrigan, as told during a session at the open space on open space conference in vancouver, BC

Consider the Open Space agenda/marketplace/community bulletin board wall as The Collective/Community? Manifestation Of The Edge/Line? Between Order And Chaos...

The Windshield Metaphor

chris corrigan told the story of being high up in a hotel room, in deep dialogue about open space. outside a rainstorm was raging, pounding buckets against the windows, which were an ever-changing snapshot of the chaos of the storm meeting the order of the building.

i like to take this to the level of windshield on a car. yes, the outside world is chaos, sometimes warm and sunny and buggy, sometimes rainy and more. still we have a chosen direction and intention in it. the snapshot that lands on the windshield, rain, snow, bugs and all, is a picture formed by the chaos of the outside and the order we impose from the inside.

this snapshot is what the agenda wall is in any open space event and organization. it changes constantly and needs updating continually. throwing stuff up onto the wall and clearing it out through conversation and action. as chaos meets order, on our way to some chosen destination, the snapshot needs to change and change and change and change... can't get fixed on any one spot of the windshield, need to keep looking through the snapshot into the direction we want to go, but without the windshield/agenda between us and the chaos, we get drenched.

the agenda is the 'vision' and could be crafted into a 'vision statement,' but it's old ten minutes or ten days after it's written. maintained and managed in the form of an ever-shifting agenda wall, practical vision and organization stays fresh, clear, practical, relevent.