An event-led approach for supporting change

March 19, 2015 : News, Team Development

Open Space, Organisations, Team Development

Change is part of everyday business, and how a company deals with change will affect performance and eventually your bottom line.

Open Space offers an event-led approach for supporting and navigating organisational change, and allows groups of any size to address complex, important issues to achieve meaningful results quickly. Open Space is at its best where more traditional meeting formats fail: when there is conflict, complexity, diversity of thought or people, and short decision times.

What it offers is a process; a method for organising meaningful meetings and conferences. During the process attendees are asked to generate the meeting agenda as well as participate by leading small group break-out sessions during the meeting time. There is a facilitation element, but no official meeting leader who demands compliance.

The Open Space process is ideal for supporting organisations in transition and for engaging a wide spectrum of staff and internal / external stakeholders in a shared experience focussing on common themes and issues where everyone’s contribution and input is valued.

Our initial Open Space engagement was when we were 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 Creative Visioning – 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 itself.

In addition to this project, Maximillion Lead Facilitators have supported a variety Open Space projects with organisations as diverse as SWIP, Southern Water, Skills Development Scotland, OKI (UK) and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.

For more information on Open Space and how it could work for your organisation, or on any related area of interest in organisation development, change management and learning & development in Edinburgh, Scotland and across the UK, please contact Sandy Smith on 0845 901 1422 and

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