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Intentional Evolution in Organization


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So what if you could edit the DNA of your organization? Would you do it or does that sound too radical? What if you could alter your organization's genetic code, to have more of what works and fewer problems? Isn't that what you're already trying to do? Better yet, isn't that what you actually are doing right now, as you take in new information, see new patterns, envision new structures and strike up strategic conversations about new ways to work?

The organization of our world really is dissolving -- jobs into projects, communication into computers, corporate offices into homes and copy centers, and even national sovereignty into international markets and corporate strategy. The lifecycles of many jobs, products, strategies, and even some whole organizations have been crashed from decades to months.

In these times of swirling change, it's never been more important for leaders to emerge at every level of all kinds of organizations, to be able to look into the pulsing chaos of how real work actually gets done, to appreciate the evolutionary cycles of organizational systems and structures, and to understand their own efforts, conversations, stories and actions as the DNA of the organizational life they are already, and inescapably, working to create.

In other words, leaders everywhere are being called to the challenge of intentional evolution, called to continually change courses and edit their organizational DNA by editing their own efforts, conversations, stories and actions in ways that invite their colleagues...

 

  • into a purposeful pulsation across the gap, the open space, between insight and integration, planning and practice, problems and possibilities, seeing and doing;

 

  • into a careful unfolding and unveiling of what is most important to us, in the context of public invitations and professional interactions, with confidence that we will know what to do and be embraced by whatever shows up next, in an ever-subtler spiraling journey; and

 

  • into the realization that when we take responsibility for changing, sharing, supporting and reconnecting with more of ourselves, we take responsibility for the well-being of our whole organization and the rest of the world.

 

Open Space Technology is one simple, powerful way to invite leaders, from all over an organization or community, to come together and practice intentional evolution -- to deepen insight, to open invitations, to adapt systems, and pull their various acts together -- in the midst of rapid, even swirling, change. Far from an abstract, academic exercise, intentional evolution in Open Space is fast becoming one of the most practical (and prudent) approaches for leading the life of an organization. As one CEO put it: "It scares the hell out of me, but I know it's what we have to do...so let's do it."

The next section says more about Open Space Technology and offers some practical tools for inviting organizations to work more intentionally in Open Space.

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Inviting Organization: Evolution is Now and Open Space, by Michael Herman
© Copyright 1998-2003 Michael Herman (www.michaelherman.com and www.globalchicago.net), unless signed by another author or organization. Please do not reprint or distribute without permission and FULL attribution, including web addresses and this copyright notice. Permission is granted gladly if you email and say something about who you are, what you're up to, and how you are using the materials you find here. Thank you and good luck! EmailMichael | DownloadPublications