SV: opening space with very small groups

2006-09-20 Thread Thomas Herrmann
Hi Mikk
Good to see you here!
Just wanted to add that I´m in a group of Scandinavian GC-trainers and when
we have our gatherings which mostly last over 2 days we always use an OS
approach to set the agenda together, then we usually stay together as a
group and work through all issues since it usually concerns our continous
cocreation of our group/work. We couldn´t find a better way to have good
meetings and continue our learning journey together.

So I join the chorus - go for it.

Today I facilitated a follow-up meeting with 6 participants, and for part of
the meeting I used OST - 2 sessions á 45 minutes. THey chose to stay
together as a whole group working to continue with the 2 actionplans that
engaged them most. I express this choice (to split up or stay together) more
clearly when I work with small groups as they often tend to stay together as
a whole group (my experience) and maybe that´s not always the preferred way
by all...

Once I had one man who tried to arrange the agenda proposing that the group,
of 12 or so, stay together - talking about 3 issues during the first session
and three on the second (it was short OS-meeting). I was holding to the arms
of my chair - as Harrison teaches - and a woman stepped up and told the
group that this was not what she wished. So the group split up into smaller
groups - which seemed to be just right for that group.
Good luck Esther
Thomas Herrmann, Sweden

 -Ursprungligt meddelande-
 Från: OSLIST []För Mikk Sarv
 Skickat: den 20 september 2006 07:52
 Ämne: opening space with very small groups

 Dear Esther!

 I have several times conducted OS with small groups, one of them was only
 with three persons. Two of them had earlier OS experience, so
 they just used
 the co-created space as usually - posted their topics about what
 they really
 cared about and then started to write down to flip charts their thoughts
 about it.

 When the first outburst of inspiration was over, the time was
 right to look
 around, what others had done and written down. They walked from
 one topic to
 another and got wonderful additions to their original ideas.
 Third day was,
 as usally, for action planning, at it worked the same way.

 Just be relaxed and encourage people to select topics they really care
 about. Then remind them, that they have wonderful and rare
 opportunity to be
 with something, that they really care about, for 90 minutes and possibly
 they can get some enriching comments and additions.

 Go and do it!
 With best greetings,
 Mikk Sarv

 - Original Message -
 From: Communications Esther Matte
 Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 3:29 PM
 Subject: opening space with very small groups

  Hello everyone!
  First, let me say thank you for the wonderful learning I found in the
  OSList.  I'm new to Open Space, and even though I have yet to make my
  first big circle as Ted put it recently, I feel more
 confident thanks to
  you all.
  I may have two possible projects with very small groups (5-7 people) ­
  which is what worries me.  I have participated to one OST in my
  experiential training with Diane Gibeault (fantastic!), and
  one with 45 people. But I simply cannot visualize how it works
 with as few
  as 5 people. How do you do this? Do you have several rounds of
  In separate rooms? Do people actually work by themselves and
 team up? Can
  you do it in approximately 3 hours ? (Maybe 20-30 minutes opening, 2 X
  40-minutes rounds of discussion or 3 X 30-minutes, action planning and
  I'm sure some of you have done this. I'll be meeting with the first
  possible group next week, and nothing is set in stone yet for the other.
  Any comments, suggestions, ideas or warnings will be very much
  Thank you very much in advance for your time!
  Esther Matte
  Communications Esther Matte
  1011, Marie-Victorin
  Verchères (Québec) J0L 2R0
  L'art de dire
  Tél. : (450) 583-5849
  Téléc. : (450) 583-3513
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Re: SV: opening space with very small groups

2006-09-20 Thread Joelle Lyons Everett

I had a similar experience once.   On the second morning of a two-day OS, the 
dead moose which had been under the table during the first day was 
acknowledged by one of the participants, who announced in Morning News that 
instead of 
the session which he had originally posted, he would be convening a session 
on that topic in the first time slot.

Someone remarked, I expect all of us will want to be in that session.   
However, a board member who was attending the meeting announced, I will be 
convening the session I announced yesterday, up on the mezzanine.   Three or 
people followed him to the mezzanine, and the remainder stayed in the central 
room for what proved to be an important and productive conversation.

I was grateful to the staff member who skillfully facilitated that difficult 
discussion, and to the board member who gently reminded the group that they 
still had a choice about what they wanted to do!   That hour and a half totally 
changed the climate of the meeting, and the remaining sessions had high energy 
levels and much creative work.

Always nice to be reminded that my job is to hold the space, not to do the 
work of the group.


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