More Trip Description


The people I met in New Zealand and Australia were delightful -- warm and ready to talk, connecting with eyes and heart, mostly interested in what I had to say or at least in the conversation and mutual connections.It was good to see dear friends like Brian and Viv, to see the coast from Vivís lovely home and to connect to many who attended the international OSonOS in Melbourne in 2002.


At most small events I said a few words about what I had been thinking, doing or writing and then had conversations with the participants, following the flow of questions and ideas.With larger groups and time frames (more than 1-2 hours) others opened the space with OST and I became a participant.With groups of over 40 participants and less than 2 hours it was better to use the OS Fishbowl that Andrew and I discovered.The approach enabled some quite amazing discussions at the Continuous Improvement Network of the State of Victoria (160 folks) or the OD Learning Community in Sydney (50 folks) in short time frames.(See the first page)


In New Zealand, State of Victoria, the University of Western Australia in Perth there was substantial interest in the recent study by Sharon King and me on what successful leadership looks like in complex or living human systems.There was real interest in that discussion in Canberra.Mark Schenk, also of Anecdote, invited both federal government employees and consultants attended the lunch time conversation there. It was good to see Aart Groothuis there and hear of the OST events he had been leading with the Ministry of Finance.



There was also some interest in OST evidence like the recent article Becky and I wrote or in my use of Spiral Dynamics Integral to assist my understanding.But it was in wide ranging conversations that often included OST practical advice, what happens before and after, emergent leadership and design, relationship to other perspectives, or how to prepare personally that I believe the learning was the deepest for all of us.


The networks of OST practitioners in various cities were at different places, from active mutual support to colleagues looking to better understand how OST fits in their consulting or teaching perspectives and practices.Some people have gone very deep with their personal practice of open space.Others have gone wide to include a number of approaches.I saw the depth of connection and experience of key leaders who live in open space, like Brian in Melbourne (in his Parish and the World Bank) and Brendan in Perth (who has led 40 OST events this year).It was great to see the breadth of connections to open space experience and perspectives Ė for example the links Viv makes to improv theatre were similar to those of Phelim when we were in Camden, Maine.


There have been some immediate results from the visits.The University of Western Australia is the only University that I know with an internally focused OD department.The presentation and the Brendan led OST there helped to stimulate two more OST events there.One facilitator with some experience saw the advantage of bringing in Fr. Brian Bainbridge for a high stakes event at the ANZ Pavilion.A Sydney consultant e-mailed to say that he was changing a previous design with a client to end the event with OST.


It was great fun and learning.Here are few more pictures.











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