I’ve been really enjoying this conversation. 

I have indeed been part of conflict resolutions where there was constrained 
space to move. Mediation on a job and litigation as well as restorative 
practice (conflict resolution circles). I believe that working with constraints 
is a high art of leadership.  And even in Open Space there are still 
constraints.  I certainly just advocate for being honest about what those are. 
We can have governing constraints (like rules, i.e. the meeting will end at 
5pm) and enablisgin constraints, like the principles and the law of two feet.  
But nothing ever happens without a container.

So given that, how we work with constraints and build a container matters.  I 
have run Open Spaces where there were fewer degrees of freedom than others (of 
course participants could always call whatever conversation they wanted to, but 
the management of the organization got to define areas they could resource and 
act on).

The original question was about Dave Snowden’s criticism of how the law of two 
feet operates in spaces where conflict is important. This can mean any kind 
situation where a group of people needs to hear a contrary point of view in 
order to act wisely.  In many places these days, folks just walk away from 
people who’s opinions they find odious.  This kind of conflict avoidance 
creates massive division and “echo chamber’ behaviour.  Even calling an open 
space meeting is a kind of narrowing of the constraints and degrees of freedom 
such that people need to encounter one another.  

For innovation work, testing, criticizing and breaking new ideas is an 
invaluable part of the creative process.  Working away on one’s own without 
dissenting points of view can create something that is vulnerable to the myriad 
blind spots that we operate from. 

Conflict is not a bad thing. Working well with time and space as constraints 
helps us to collectively move through it.  Sometimes that means opening up that 
time and space and sometimes it means narrowing it down.  

I also miss Father Brian in these kinds of conversations.  I suspect he’d say 
something like “it’s all good” and then give a little wink and a smile.  

Chris

> On Feb 4, 2018, at 12:04 PM, Birgitt Williams via OSList 
> <oslist@lists.openspacetech.org> wrote:
> 
> Dear Colleagues,
> I am interested in questions, and how people get wrapped up in answering a 
> question, without first giving some discernment to whether or not it is the 
> right question. Oh...I miss Fr. Brian Bainbridge when I get to thinking like 
> this....he would have been a great one to have this conversation with. As I 
> understand it, the question was stated as one to look at whether Open Space 
> assisted in avoidance of conflict.
> 
> My question, the one that I believe is more to the heart of the matter is 
> 'have you ever been part of successful movement with conflict resolution when 
> the space wasn't open?'. 
> 
> For any conflict, inter-personal, intra-personal, larger scale, conflict 
> doesn't have successful movement if there is no space for the movement, no 
> space for the re-framing.that is needed for healing. Conflict is not in short 
> supply in this world. Let us use any processes that we can to be of service 
> to our fellow humans to move beyond the stuck energies of conflict. 
> 
> Blessings,
> Birgitt
> 
> 
> 
> On Sun, Feb 4, 2018 at 12:50 PM christopher macrae via OSList 
> <oslist@lists.openspacetech.org <mailto:oslist@lists.openspacetech.org>> 
> wrote:
> 3 comments which may sound contradictory and reveal my own need to action 
> learn
> 
> 1 harrisons' books eg practice of peace explain that an intention of Open 
> Space is to free people who are all trapped by the same conflict to move 
> beyond it - creating more space than top-down rules  or historiic cultural 
> misunderstanding had previously allowed - this always seems to me to be what 
> is happening provided the facilitator is experienced
> 
> 2 however what happens when people are no longer together in the space; are 
> actions and post conflict innovations unstoppable?; here what bothers me is 
> that there is no complete database of success stories- or if there is please 
> given us one bookmark; i mean something that is an updating index not just 
> this listing - a "good food guide" review format to open space so to speak
> 
> 3 i wonder if anyone has experienced deep democracy which i believe was 
> innovated by myrna lewis in south africa- this starts with a somewhat 
> different process purpose ; it aims to identify opposng sides and then get 
> them to debate what  with all their energy but no violence what is  their 
> absolute minimum demands in a proposed solution which will make them unite 
> with the other sides
> 
> while 3 sounds a valid idea frankly it puts even more burden of the 
> faciltator (or indeed the spirit of the space) and who actually sponsored the 
> event - the very few deep democracies I have participated in did not have 
> outcomes that i trusted even though I was there more as an observer than one 
> of the interested partners
> 
> just my 3 cents worth ; ultimately the catch 22 seems to me to be that unless 
> hehre is already enough community to be the sponsor , the after-the space 
> motivations of the sponoir come back into play- so how one deals with that is 
> what I dont understand?
> 
> chris macrae www.BRI.school <http://www.bri.school/>
> 
> Who's fanning Chinese solutions to sustainability:1) by country,2) valu...
> ?<a href="http://www.chinathanks.com/1977";>Entrepreneurial World's Greatest 
> CASE : CHINA 2017-1977</a> worldwide...
>  <http://www.bri.school/>
> 
> 
> > 
> > On 30 January 2018 at 23:07, Daniel Mezick via OSList 
> > <oslist@lists.openspacetech.org <mailto:oslist@lists.openspacetech.org> 
> > <mailto:oslist@lists.openspacetech.org 
> > <mailto:oslist@lists.openspacetech.org>>> wrote:
> > I am hearing this pointed criticism from some quarters: That OST actually 
> > encourages conflict-avoidance via the Law of 2 Feet. In other words, people 
> > who need to be resolving conflict (or at least discussing it) can just 
> > avoid the touchy topic... and each other. 
> > 
> > Could this actually be true? If not why not? 
> > 
> > 
> > -- 
> > Daniel Mezick
> > Culture Strategist. Author. Keynoter.
> > (203) 915 7248 <tel:(203)%20915-7248>. Bio. <http://www.danielmezick.com/ 
> > <http://www.danielmezick.com/>> Blog. <http://www.newtechusa.net/blog/ 
> > <http://www.newtechusa.net/blog/>> Twitter. 
> > <https://twitter.com/DanielMezick <https://twitter.com/DanielMezick>> 
> > Book: The Culture Game. <http://theculturegame.com/ 
> > <http://theculturegame.com/>> 
> > Book: The OpenSpace Agility Handbook. 
> > <http://www.amazon.com/OpenSpace-Agility-Handbook-Daniel-Mezick/dp/0984875336
> >  
> > <http://www.amazon.com/OpenSpace-Agility-Handbook-Daniel-Mezick/dp/0984875336>>
> >  
> > 
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>  
>  
> Birgitt Williams
> 
> 
> 
> Closing the Gap Between Potential and Results
> 
> 
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