Open Space Training (back in the “good ole days”)?

Way back in the old days (The 80’s), I was in college – and the Army, and managing restaurants and I was wayward (at best) when it came to clarity of what I was going to do with my life.It also was the time that I met my Father (A story to tell later).

I took great interest in figuring out what exactly Dad DID for a living.I knew he was a writer, and thinker, and theologian, who was well travelled and quite a story-teller.When I asked him what he did for a living, he responded that he was a “QUACK” on the fringes of “OD” (Organizational Development Consulting) . . . a misfit with crazy ideas that seemed to threaten the ways of the “Old Guard” as his way of consulting didn’t include “capturing clients into LOOOONG and EXPENSIVE “Engagements” which seemed to serve the Consultants pocketbooks more than “Healing/Fixing” the issues and/or opportunities the Leaders of these organizations were facing . . . and then, he had the AUDACITY to introduce the suggestion that Organizations actually have SPIRIT.

Quackery for sure!

As if that notion were despicable enough to utter – this notion of Spirit in organizations was, Dad added the salt in the wound of publishing his seminal book entitled: SPIRIT Transformation and Development in OrganizationsOf course, the OD world shunned Dad’s work . . . and he did the right thing . . . He followed his heart and went about the business of discovering whatever this thing is. One thing he knew from the outset was that this “thing”was WAY more powerful than ANY Organizational Development Process in practice.Dad didn’t trade mark, copyright, or license this “body of work” because, as he will tell anyone who asks, this “Technology” has been existent since the beginning.

Harrison Owen didn’t create Open Space Technology . . . He simply recognized a powerful way for people and organizations to gather together to work through IMPORTANT – COMPLEX – issues and/or opportunities which affect a diversity of people, real potential for conflict, and a need for resolution YESTERDAY.

Dad didn’t “create” Open Space Technology so it’s not his to claim or give.

As Dad began to “spread the word” of OST, he did several “Training Programs” to present the 4 principles and one Law

Whoever comes is the right people

Whenever it starts is the right time

Whatever Happens is the the only that could have

When it’s over, it’s OVER

The 5th principle was later added

Wherever it happens is the right place

The Law of 2 feet (Mobility):

If at any time, you find yourself in a place where you feel you are neither receiving nor contributing anything of value, you have the Permission (and some say – OBLIGATION) to use your 2 feet to take yourself to a place where you CAN receive or contribute value . . . Be useful.


I knew that, if I were to REALLY get to know my Father, getting to know his “body of work” – his vocation, would be a good start, so I started immersing myself by SHOWING UP – attending his training Programs which were 5 days of learning all of the things which have always been BUT were forgotten through Industrialized EDUCATION . . . We never lost this knowledge . . . We simply forgot from whence we have come.
Open Space Technology invites us to remember . . . The most exciting revelation during this journey of getting to know my Father is the moment that I realized that “Living in Open Space” is our “natural state”I live by the 5 principle principles and the Law of 2 feet.
I’m writing a book entitled:Nothing Has Changed

and Everything is moving (With a nod to Ralph Koppelman (RIP)

Progress with the book is slow (Whenever it Happens)
I have full intentions to pick up Dad’s “Baton” of offering “Training Programs” in his way (Old school) – Learning by doing . . . and remembering this wisdom we already know.

These Programs will be 2 half days and 3 full days,and they will be total immersion of living in Open Space
I welcome any comments/thoughts

Let Go! &
Let’s GO!
Barry Owen
Your SOUL Source for all things Real Estate in Middle Tennessee
Wizard of . . . The Vital Few

Published by Barry Owen

Residential Real Estate sales Strategist Search - Analysis - Negotiation - CLOSED Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities Invite-Listen-Love

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