Daniel Mezick, the author of OpenSpace Agility was in Montreal from 15 to 17 January 2016 to provide experiential training. Here is a summary.
If you have already tried to generate a significant change in your organization, you know how difficult it is. OpenSpace Agility offers several keys: it is an art, a philosophy that addresses organizational transformation through the strongest and most powerful entry point ever to generate commitment and SMART results (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) : the human being.
Performance: human or mechanical?
I hear you say that in organizations, the problems are just human! It is they who put a spoke in the wheels. Let me challenge this perspective. First, organizations are not machines, well-oiled mechanics. This vision was probably relevant at the time of the industrial revolution, but in the interconnected and interdependent world in which we live, it is reductive.
Organizations are human systems alive. Change is omnipresent, and also living. And if humans are naturally surly to be confined into categories, processes and boxes, they are also wonderfully creative and adaptive.
Take a look back over your career: When were you the most efficient? When required you to do something in a certain way, or when you were asked to do something in the best way you can, depending on your skills and experience? Similarly, when are you at your best in a project or a meeting? When you are forced to go or when you have a choice and you choose to participate?
At the base of OpenSpace Agility is the notion of invitation: inviting change rather than imposing it, ask people who know best the organization and its context, that is to say, its staff, define this change and how to implement it.
A word of caution: it is important to secure the borders of this opening, to define the « sandbox » in which people are invited to contribute the best of themselves and their knowledge. The formal leaders of the organization will, at the outset of the initiative, set those parameters. This avoids creating false interpretations, ensures that those who accept the invitation are doint so with the full knowledge of the limits.
We are far from the traditional planning and deployment operations. It can be maddening at first glance, but on reflection, one realizes that the change has a much better chance to perform in this context. After all, no one in the organization wants its discomfiture, on the contrary!
Commitment at the heart of success
As Daniel said Mezick « value comes from productivity, which stems from commitment, which is rooted in invitation. »
At the heart of successful organizational change is fact of inviting on the one hand, and to invite the collective intelligence of the group concerned to define this transformation on the other hand. The meeting of methodology chosen to do this is Open Space Technology, probably the most powerful ever to generate commitment and SMART results (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound).