Open Space Technology

Motivating commitment to change and business improvement


Maximillion Open Space events are designed to involve groups of staff across an organisation (cross-functional / departmental / stakeholder groups) in a shared process of developing and evaluating the organisational initiatives which will contribute to the successful achievement of agreed organisational goals and targets.

At the heart of the Open Space process is a facilitated workshop, complemented by an interactive ‘gameshow', in which representatives from the shop floor through to the CEO come together in one space with the objective of releasing their energy and creativity towards a defined series of targets. The event is demanding, exciting, stimulating and memorable as the desired new culture is seen working towards its goals and targets.

The energy of the day and the outcomes generated in terms of ideas and actions are captured. Every participant leaves the event with a level of ownership of their part of the plan and a clear understanding of how their activity will impact on the future performance of the organisation.

It is an interactive, fun and challenging process which, if followed through within your organisation, will create a new culture for working together and create a new agenda of business improvement projects, each capable of having a direct influence on organisational success.

Benefits for your organisation

  • Provides a coherent definition of the targets for organisational change
  • Recruits the energy and ideas of the whole organisation into delivering against these targets
  • Allows every participant to explore their own understanding of the implications of these changes and the methods through which they will be achieved
  • Demonstrates an open and transparent management style
  • Allows management groups the opportunity to assess the commitment, resources and capability of their people, as they contribute to future planning
  • Creates a network of project and interest groups within the organisation through which significant performance improvements may be achieved and evaluated

How it works

A facilitated process, comprising three phases:

  • Phase One - Preparing the ground. Through our Footsteps to the Future intervention, we will agree with you the organisational targets and improvement areas, as well as appropriate values and consequent behaviours. Context is vitally important to ensure that the Open Space event takes the desired direction, without the need for any form of prescription.
  • Phase Two - Sowing the seeds. The Open Space event - a whole group programme.
  • Phase Three - Harvesting the benefits. Implementation of the performance improvement ideas & projects generated through Open Space event. If required, Maximillion led facilitators would work alongside internal project sponsors to support the delivery of this phase.

The end result

  • The final result is anything up to 150 immediately implementable ideas which will contribute to mobilising effective and sustainable implementation of business improvement at every level in the organisation

Organisations that have used Open Space Technology

What SPSA wanted

Maximillion was commissioned to design a combined Open Space / Team Building event for a newly created law enforcement support service for Scotland. The scope of this Open Space event focussed on "Internal Stakeholder Engagement" and "Service Improvement". The project aimed to facilitate the integration of the new service and to generate ideas for service improvement based on a CEO-penned Action Plan for Excellence. This Action Plan outlined the development of the new Service across the areas of science and processes through to organisational culture. Within the Action Plan particular consideration was given to the drive to establish a team-based culture focused on improving performance delivery and excellence. This was a two-phased programme with Phase One involving the engagement of a representative group in a ‘Footsteps to the Future' workshop that creatively and practically explored the demands on the Service - past, present and future.

The outputs of this preparatory workshop helped to shape the agenda of the Open Space day. Maximillion subsequently advised SPSA how the outputs of the Open Space day could thereafter be implemented and supported internally.

What were the outcomes?

  • Improved motivation and direction
  • Increased participant understanding of issues facing the Service
  • Encouragement of debate around responses to these issues.
  • Generation of a practical, implementable and measurable database of ideas relating to Service Improvement