Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide is just what the name implies: a hands-on, detailed description of facilitating Open Space Technology (OST). OST is an effective, economical, fast, and easily repeatable strategy for organizing meetings of between 5 and 2,000 participants that has been used in thousands of organizations in 134 countries and just keeps growing in popularity. Written by the originator of the method, this is the most authoritative book on the rationale, procedures, and requirements of OST. OST enables self-organizing groups of all sizes to deal with hugely complex issues in a very short period of time. This step-by-step user’s guide details what needs to be done before, during, and after an Open Space event. Harrison Owen details all the practical considerations necessary to create Open Space. He begins with the most important question—should you use Open Space at all?—and examines what types of situations are appropriate for Open Space Technology and what types are not. He then goes on to look at nuts-and-bolts issues such as supplies, logistics, and who should come and how you should go about getting them there. This third edition adds a survey of the current status of Open Space Technology around the world, an updated section on the latest available technology for report writing (a key aspect of the Open Space process), and an updated list of resources.
What began twenty years ago as a journey of exploration into the interplay between chaos, order, and the creative process culminates in this capstone work of Harrison Owen’s pioneering career. From the creator of Open Space Technology (OST), Wave Rider shows how to apply the fundamental principles of self-organization – the driving power behind OST’s immense success – not just to a single event but to the day-to-day management and leadership of organizations. Owen proposes that all systems – not only our organizations but indeed the entire cosmos – are fundamentally self-organizing. Control is ultimately an illusion, and attempts to assert it are a waste of time and can even be destructive. If we want to have truly high-performing organizations, at some point we need to set aside our preconceived goals and strategies, important as they are, and align ourselves and our work with the primal force of self-organization – learn how to ride that wave. To that end, Owen lays out eight concrete steps for becoming a successful Wave Rider, derived from the global experience of hundreds of thousands of Open Space events, wit ha clear focus on producing exceptional performance. The book includes a real-life tale from a genuine Wave Rider, Dee Hock of VISA International, as well as an imagined account of a day in the life of a wave-riding manager, to show how self-organizing principles can deal with specific functions like running a staff meeting, managing projects, motivating staff, and much more. Wave Rider is another exceptional contribution from one of organizational developments true innovators.
At the start of this thoughtful and revelatory book, Harrison Owen relates the story of how he was lunching with a senior official of the American Society for Training and Development, who observed that if what Owen had just told him about Open Space Technology (OST) was true, then "95% of what we are currently doing does not need to be done." OST is strategy for organizing meetings that is radical, revolutionary, and deceptively simple. Expanding Our Now is an exploration of what OST is, how it developed as a process for meeting management, and how and why it works all over the world, for groups of all sizes dealing with a vast range of issues. To be published simultaneously with Open Space Technology: A User's Guide, -- a companion volume which details methods for implementing an Open Space event -- Expanding Our Now provides historical background, with case studies and delves into the questions of why and how Open Space works. Owen makes a compelling case that OST can move organizations to higher levels of performance, without elaborate training or professional facilitators. By focusing on 'Now' -- this present moment -- perception is expanded so that, for example, AT&T was able to accomplish 10 months work in a matter of 2 days. 'Now' is the heart of the matter. When Now gets big, time and space open up for doing what is needed. In the experience of Owen and thousands of people around the world who have used this technology successfully, OST expands 'Now' . Here he offers numerous successful case studies from corporations (such as Boeing and AT&T), community service organizations, and even countries (Canada) to demonstrate the power of 'Now'. While Open Space violates many of the traditional principles of meeting (and organizational) management, it is remarkably effective. Owen challenges the idea that anyone can actually control a closed system, suggesting that in reality all systems are open, and OST simply acknowledges and takes full advantage of that reality.
The business world is desperate for leaders. Books and courses on leadership flood the market as companies search in vain for that one person who can make sense of their rapidly changing environment through assertiveness, charisma, and control. According to noted consultant Harrison Owen, our inability to locate such a person isn't the fault of our leaders, it's the fault of our expectations. In today's world where chaos is "normal" and paradoxes can't be resolved, such old-style leaders no longer offer the solution. Today's world requires inspired leadership from all levels of the organization. "Inspired leadership" literally means in-spirited leadership, and this book explores the intimate connection between spirit and leadership it implies. It presents the radical notion that spirit is the most important ingredient of any organization and that leadership means opening space for that spirit to show up in powerful and productive ways. The Spirit of Leadership lays out the New Rules of Leadership, rules which surprisingly turnOl organizations have always played by. For the keys to these new rules, the book turns to those who have always successfully operated apart from the levers of formal power and authority-women. Offering lessons from effective female strategies, it reveals the true functions of leadership: to evoke, grow, sustain, comfort, and raise the spirit. Not to be confused with morale building, motivational techniques, or even the current fad of spirituality in business, The Spirit of Leadership digs deeper to show that, at its essence, leadership is our link to deep inner forces. It provides practical steps readers can use to uncover their own capacity for leadership in whatever position they find themselves, and to exercise that capacity both to enhance the performance of their organizations and to find their own fulfillment as complete human beings.
Forms and transforms in people, they become strong, focused, and vibrant-and wonderful things can happen. But when the spirit is down, nothing else seems to make a difference-because not too much happens. Many of us today find ourselves trapped in just such organizations. The spirit in our workplace, to say nothing of our own spirit, is getting a little tattered, showing the early stages of what Harrison Owen calls "Soul Pollution." Those in the advanced stages may find themselves plagued by exhaustion, high levels of stress, and the abuse of just about anything in sight, including spouses, substances, and fellow workers. So what is the secret to transforming organizations? The answer, says Owen, is simple: we must consciously be what we already are-natural, open, self-organizing systems. In The Power of Spirit, Owen examines the world of Spirit/Consciousness in organizations and offers help to those who find themselves dreading another day on the job in an organization seemingly bent on its own destruction, as well as the destruction of its members. He draws from what we are now learning about self-organizing systems to provides a practical application to the world of organizations, revealing the ways in which Spirit shows up in new, emergent organizational forms. Widely known for his Open Space Technology-a broadly used meeting management tool-Owen now pushes well beyond that surface appreciation and suggests deeper applications and implications, showing how what has been experienced in a typical "great meeting" with Open Space can actually be a 365-day-a-year reality. For all those interested in Spirit and spirituality, particularly in the workplace, individuals who are feeling down and out and buried by Soul Pollution in the workplace, and for current practitioners of Open Space Technology who are wondering what comes after a "great meeting"-The Power of Spirit will offer a pathway to positive transformation.