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invitation to send stories of where app, inv, sup, have made the difference that made the difference. more like the old model of smallchangenews blog, gathering blog posts as primary to gathering tags. tags too strange, new...

something about... Open Space expanding into Inviting Leadership, expanding from tools and methods to everyday practices, these are tape and pencil and hammer, the stuff that rides on toolbelt, not special things that clunk around in a heavy toolbox, but the stuff that we can't hardly think and work without. Ever ask a carpenter a question about a job? ...what does he or she do first? Take out the tape, pencil a quick sketch, tap tap tap with a hammer to test the underlying structure. What if invitation was something we carried around on our toolbelts, in our weblogs, and tags and bookmarks. What if this book is not the end of the story, it's only the opening invitation.

Last week I had the great and joyful privilege of joining Chris Corrigan and Michael Herman and several other profound and gifted teachers at Rivendell on Bowen Island to explore the principles and practice of Open Space. As Chris and Michael described it, talking about Open Space is much like talking about swimming. You can describe it all you want, and it can sound really wonderful, but ultimately you need to take the plunge and experience what it’s like to move around in the fluid, spacious (and usually uncharted!) waters of Open Space.

I owe Michael, Chris and Caitlin and all the participants—Carol, Karen, Kerri, Kate, Kris, Jessie, Marlena, Beth, Roq, Alison, Melanie—a debt of great gratitude for holding and opening up such a beautiful space for me and all of us to explore the terrain of all four quadrants—inner and outer, personal and collective with such depth .

I thought I was attending this 3-day workshop to learn more about how to use OST in organizations and with clients—but what I discovered was the deep rich well of possibility that appeared when I opened space inside me—inside my own heart, body and mind. It was a much more personal journey than I expected, and what I’ve noticed since last week is how many opportunities to “open space” have arisen, with invitation naturally extended, without me cajoling, coercing or convincing anyone of anything in particular. I am learning that I don’t push the river, it really does flow by itself, and that the best I can do is to get into right alignment with it.

Chris took a picture of a salmon resting in perfect equipoise in a stream here on Bowen. You can see it on his Bowen Island Journal weblog 01/11/05. I’m learning to be that salmon.

And while I’m here, I’d like to thank everyone who contributes to this list—I have learned so much from each of you and I thank you, deeply, for your generosity in sharing your questions, insights, learnings, and journeys in Open Space.

With much appreciation,


Bowen Island

What if we could take all of the energy of the millions of people appreciating, inviting, supporting and making good in the world? What if we could connect just one small plot of that landscape, of those people currently using the internet for good? What if we could connect bloggers, photographers and taggers?

What if we could start tagging, with one name, InvitingLeadershipWritingProject, all of those things that we appreciate, things that inspire and invite us to be more active in becoming leaders for good in the world. All of those invitations that we send or receive or discover, with which others are already inviting people to get together to pay attention, create options, and choose serve themselves and others. And all of those practices and methods and approaches, tools and techniques, for supporting movement and connecting and conversing.

What if we could make good on this potential, tagging all of these appreciations, invitations, and practices and applications with one word, InvitingLeadershipWritingProject? In blogging, in flickr, in delicious and other places. This is what we want to find out, this is what we want to invite, and this is what we want to practice.

There is no website for this book. We will continue to blog in our own blogs, posting the things that inspire, invite and teach us. We invite you to do the same. Make your mark, to the good. Link yourself to us by tagging your posts, your pictures, and your bookmarks with InvitingLeadershipWritingProject. That whole forests exist for one purpose -- to produce pinecones -- the seeds of the future. Over time, our tags add up, and make good on a global body of practice.

Please join us... as we make good on our history, our future, our practice and our promises. We are InvitingLeadershipWritingProject, inviting your leadership, in your life, your work and our world. And every tag is a seed with your name on it, at InvitingLeadershipWritingProject.com. And thank you for coming!

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Last edited May 7, 2006 4:50 pm CentralTimeUSA by MichaelHerman
© 1998-2020 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