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Welcome to the Bowen Island Follow Up page. This is a place to put stories of recent OST events facilitated by folks who were in the Bowen Island practice workshop.

WagingPeaceInSeattle - a community space opened by joelle everett

Open Space At UBC...

...just wanted you to know that Leah and I jointly organized and facilitated a one-day OST event yesterday in our department here at UBC. The topic was "how to develop and implement a 2 way communication strategy for the Department of Family Practice at UBC" and we had a total of 15 people attend. The day went very well, especially in terms of the filling up of the blank wall which did become a marketplace of issues and ideas.

We had quite a diverse group and a challenging topic, but the self-organizing "magic" of OST really did come into play. We modified the format so that we spent the last session of the day in action planning mode, but that was possible/effective because there was a group process (about 20 minutes) in the morning where we effectively discussed and negotiated the blending of sessions and their sequence.

We ended up agreeing to start with those sessions that were more fundamental to the goal, and then to move through the day towards the more specific/technical issues. Although unplanned, that worked very well and there was a lot of buy-in throughout the day. Of course we all have a lot of work to do now but that is the point, isn't it.

I think that a key learning for me was that the real work is in the prep time and in framing the event and developing the invitation. Get that stuff right (including telling your bosses to let go of their tendency to want to lead and save) and you will do well.

I also highly recommend learning-by-doing because I feel more confident now than I did yesterday AM. Good luck to all of you in OS. Vince

Vincent Verlaan, Program Manager Community Liaison for Integrating Study and Service UBC Faculty of Medicine #211 - 2150 Western Parkway, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1V6 Tel: 604 225 2550 Fax: 604 225 2557 www.med.ubc.ca


It is amazing the response that the OST event generated both internally to the issue we focused on, and in terms of overall organizational interest in OST as a way to break some bigger "logjams" we are facing. There seems to be a hunger for change here that this event has tapped into. I expect to do more such events fairly soon and agree that it will help me grow in confidence. Leah and I are having some very rich debriefing discussions about our first event so it occurs to me that having 2 people thinking about and using OST in an organization might be another great way to enrich your learning as time goes by. And if this group listserve re Bowen works well, we could form our own little discussion group on how to get better at OST. Perhaps we could develop a one pager re the process and outcomes of a given OST event and then could fill it in and circulate it amongst ourselves everytme we each host or participate in an event. That would give everyone the benefits of a given event. Does this kind of thing already exist in the practice of OST, to speed up individual and/or group learning about the practice of OST? Just asking, Vince

i would add that this 'hunger for change' seems to exist in many many organizations, but that real change never seems quite so possible as it does in open space. would second the notion about having partners to work with. nothing like good company to make good company, community, organization.

am all for the documentation idea. here would be a good place for it! edit away! --MichaelHerman

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Last edited April 9, 2003 9:42 am CentralTimeUSA by MichaelHerman
© 1998-2019 Michael Herman and www.michaelherman.com, unless signed by another author or organization. Please do not reprint or distribute for commercial purposes without permission and full attribution, including web address and this copyright notice. Permission has always been granted gladly to those who contact me and say something about themselves, their work, and their use of these materials. Thank you and good luck! - Michael