For about a year, I had the pleasure of working with an organization that 
wanted to do what your client has done.   They had two offices in different 
of the region, and both offices were too small and lacked facilities for some 
of their important programs.  They decided to build a large new headquarters 
building in a new area between their current offices, and move all employees 
from both offices into the new building.   To complicate matters, people would 
be moving from individual office spaces to an open-space plan with many staff 
members sharing a large space.   And, the new office would be in a rather 
remote location, so there were security concerns for people who were there for 
evening meetings.

They did something really great--they called me and said that they wanted to 
solve some of their potential problems ahead of time, instead of after they 
moved and people were unhappy.   Both staff and clients had had lots of input 
into the design of the new building.   Now, we brought everyone together in 
Space, and let staff members define the problems that were worrying them, and 
recommend solutions.   

They did this with one day of Open Space for the entire group, then task 
forces based on the OS work groups were asked to continue working on solutions 
policies.   A Transition Team worked on both the project management of the 
construction and the implementation of recommendations from the Open Space.   I 
worked with the Transition Team during the time until they actually moved into 
the new building.   It was a very smooth transition, despite the fact that it 
occurred during their busiest season--they were "open for business" right 
through, though there were two days that the office was just the director's 
laptop computer and the assistant director's cell phone.   More important, 
in both offices felt that their concerns had been heard, and the staff was 
able to decide for themselves how they would integrate the two groups and work 
together effectively.

Hooray for your client, for wanting to do this, even after the fact, now that 
they see that some work is needed.   I think that any design will succeed, so 
long as it gives people a way to voice their true feelings.   I knew that we 
would come out alright when the topic "Change and Grief" went up on the wall 
alongside "Storage" (which was the hottest and most contentious topic for these 
people who had almost no storage space in their old offices!).

Any way that you decide to open space for honest conversation, I am thinking 
of you and wishing you all the best.



To subscribe, unsubscribe, change your options,
view the archives of

To learn about OpenSpaceEmailLists and OSLIST FAQs:

Reply via email to