Michael Herman
Opening Space for Business Agility

Proceedings Basics

The simplest proceedings might be the invite, the list of issues discussed, the participant list and contact info.

Next, capture breakout session notes on flipcharts. Print a template and hand it to all conveners as they announce their issues in the opening circle. The template form should invite them to capture: their issue title, convener(s)' name(s), the names of participants, a summary of the discussion. This might be a few lines or several typed pages, and it's NOT a transcript of the conversation), and sometimes next steps. Try to avoid asking for "recommendations" as this tends to reclaim power from the groups into some central authority.

In short events, you might ask each convener to distill their notes onto one poster board (using poster board instead of flipchart paper raises the stakes/focus). Put the poster boards up in a gallery to review at the end of the day and leave some time for all to finish and review before the closing.

Better yet, ask conveners to type all their notes for a book of proceedings. The typing process makes a big difference over photographing the flipcharts, the processing matters. When you assemble "the book," include the invitation, a summary of what happened (who came, how many, how long, how many issues raised and discussed, and what will happen next), maybe a participant list and contact info or some other way for new people to get involved.

Take pictures of the people working in breakouts or holding the pages with their issues on them, the ones posted in the opening. The latter is a good way to capture the energy of an event. the best notes will make sense to people who were not in the breakout session.

Photos of all the notes is boring to read, not especially informative, makes for a huge document to email, but does make for a quick and dirty and durable record if you need one.

The best proceedings documents tell the whole story of what happened and invite next steps and new people. Mix in anything from music to painting to hashtags that your group knows how to use.

More Details on Some of These Alternatives

Gallery of Proceedings instead of a Proceedings Book

That is, let people post all their results in the raw in the form of a gallery (posters they produce and whatsoever) for everyone to walk around in and enjoy during the open space and perhaps allow for a special period to "visit the gallery" (alternative to the reading of the book). The only things recorded by the participants and given to everyone are

1. a detailed list of participants so people can stay in touch

2. any agreements on action (who is going to do what when how...) that might come out of a planning phase with an emphasis on having the names of every one party to the agreement loud and clear on the agreement, again so people can stay in touch.

Irmi Gruensteidel and I will try this at an 2.5 day open space of some 40 study body representatives in the middle of December. This is the same bunch that came together a year ago and since then has worked as an open space subsystem in their highschool which in turn spawned an open space for the entire school just after summerbreak this year.

Aside from all the paper not used and other neat simplifications I have a hunch that it might be a characteristic of an InterActive? Organization (or a conscious open space organization) to operate with near zero stuff written down....

Greetings from freezing Berlin -- michael pannwitz

handwritten notes/book of proceedings

also from michael pannwitz, from comments about his opening with harrison owen for 2108 people in one-day berlin openspace...

>4. The handwritten reports and then enlarged by photocopying for posting >seemed to work. Do you recommend this to others? Any glitches? How was the >actual book of proceedings created?

4.1 This is a common procedure in these parts, I actually always do it this way: handwritten reports on A4 (as the basis for the book of proceedings), enlarged to A3 for the news wall. No glitches. The book of proceedings is online, here is the url >http://www.leidenschaft-und-verantwortung.com both in German and English...someone typed the handwritten notes. Do I recommend it to others? It depends on what the sponsor wants. There has been a long discussion on the german oslist (there are 103 of us presently on that list) about books of proceedings, sustaining the work after the event, etc. In a nutshell my position: the book of proceedings is the backdrop for action (if that is wanted) and it is the backdrop for action (if that is not wanted).

originally posted to OpenSpaceTechnology/OSLIST on

Using digital cameras...and much more than that!

Visuelle Protokolle <mail@visuelle-protokolle.de>

Doug wrote:

Reinhard and Joelle-- Do either of you have examples of the kinds of drawings people do? This sounds exciting, but I wonder if there are a lot of people who object,saying, "I could never draw...."

Doug,of course people normally say "I could never draw" before they start to do it.

We made several experiences with drawing people. Besides the beautiful examples Joelle described we could shortly mention the following situations:

1. We use 'Templates'

...that means posters with a little bit of metaphoric drawing, done by us first, and lots of blank space for people to take over and draw the posters themselves:

- this summer, in a conference of IT people, who began a change process of two years, we asked the participants to define the contents of four different change projects. In groups of eight they first had a brainstorming and then started to draw. It was 300 people in 40 groups, and the results were immediately put to the wall. Members of the board, who had not seen the pictures before, presented the drawings to the auditorium. A process of one hour alltogether. Some representatives had beeb afraid that many people would step back, but al of them came out with beautiful pictures. There will be a gallery now.

- the same we will do with the 150 participants of IAF Europe in october in the Netherlands, were as a start up they will draw their expectations for the conference in 25 groups.

2. Self image

12 regional leaders of a consulting company took half an hour to make 3 drawings on flip charts, showing their future. The pictures showed in shocking clarity the unavoidable end of the company, something no one would have dared to express in words. Three months later they were gone.

3 representatives of a IT Company were seeking a common future. They made excellent drawings showing now and future on flip charts, much more important than words.

3. Workshops

20 trainers in Austria made spontaneous illustrations of a fairy tale I told them, and then one of them retold the tale according to the pictures, they almost died with laughter.

30 facilitators made a large drawing of their professional lives, starting on a time scale, with special drawings for highlights, before talking about their insights.

All of these people had never drawn in public, most of them also not at home, many of them were shy first. All of them had a fun bigger than words.

It really is a shame, that I have to describe pictures with words!!!!! I understand, that in a network pictures are not allowed, and at the same time, since pictures are my language, I feel handicapped like hell. If you want to see pictures, please write to me privately!

Reinhard - http://www.visuelle-protokolle.de

Kuchenmueller & Stifel - VISUELLE PROTOKOLLE - Munich Germany