OPEN SPACE WORLD - A TOOL FOR PROBLEM SOLVING FAST



In times of turbulent change, conversation qualifies as real work — and is essential for powerful, profitable action. As specialization and customization increase, complex webs of relationships and information emerge, pressure for frontline decision-making and on-time delivery rises, and individual control seems to be slipping away, it’s never been more important to be deeply connected with our partners at work. Open Space Technology is a simple, powerful way to catalyze effective working conversations and truly inviting organizations — to thrive in times of turbulent change. - From openspaceworld.org

I personally had the opportunity to utilize and view such a tool in my facilitation journey whilst working together with an in-house Organizational Development (OD) team. The facilitated session was fun, engaging, and exceptionally actionable in terms of outcomes.


The team had brought together the middle managers as well as a few active senior leaders as sponsors and through this active process, they brainstormed problem statements that were high priority for the organization.


The next steps were when the magic happened. With these 16 or so problem statements, this OPEN SPACE problem solving concept, where CROWDSOURCING was a central tenet to this problem solving methodology, allowed for ideas to flow. No judgement, no criticism, just open space gallery walks, and where inspired, you leave a post-it note with a potential thought or solution.


At the end of the session, individuals picked the challenge that was closest to their hearts and surprisingly every problem had at least a group of 3 staff that were truly inspired to solve them. This served as the workgroup for solving the problem.


To conclude, at the end of the year, about 50-60% of the things that mattered most to people were addressed. It was such a powerful tool to drive change, yet such a simple concept of Non-judgmental spaces, crowdsourcing, and building passion projects for individuals. Some say it was elements of Design Thinking, Organizational Development and great facilitation. To me, it was humans wanting to make a difference, people that found a purpose, and were emotionally tied to their "Love project".


Hope this helps you in solving your organizational challenges, especially in times of change. Check out openspaceworld.org for a holistic understanding of this concept!


#EVERYVOICEMATTERS


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