Large Group Visioning (Open Space Technology)Given the large numbers of people and stakeholder groups with an interest in high streets and town centres we rely heavily on large group events and meetings and can bring the following proven approaches to facilitate change.
Open Space Technology is a well-established methodology that enables people to create inspired meetings and inspired organisations, where ordinary people work together to create extraordinary results. In Open Space meetings, events and organizations, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance, such as: What is the strategy, group, organization or community that all stakeholders can support and work together to create?
With groups of 5 to 2000+ people usually working in 1 or 2 day workshops - the common result is a powerful, effective connecting and strengthening of what's already happening: planning and action, learning and doing, passion and responsibility, participation and performance.
Open Space works best when the work to be done is complex, the people and ideas involved are diverse, the passion for resolution (and potential for conflict) are high, and the time to get it done was yesterday. It's been called passion bounded by responsibility, the energy of a good coffee break, intentional self-organization, spirit at work, chaos and creativity, evolution in organization, and a simple, powerful way to get people and organizations moving - when and where it's needed most.
While Open Space is known for its apparent lack of structure and welcoming of surprises, it turns out that the Open Space meeting or organization is actually very structured - but that structure is so perfectly fit to the people and the work at hand, that it goes unnoticed in its proper role of supporting (not blocking) best work. In fact, the stories and workplans woven in Open Space are generally more complex, more robust, more durable - and can move a great deal faster than expert- or management-driven designs.
What will happen?
1. The issues that are MOST important to the participants will be raised
2. The issues raised will be addressed by those participants most qualified and capable of getting something done on each of them
3. The most important ideas, discussion, data, recommendations, conclusions, questions for further study, and plans for immediate action will be documented in one comprehensive report
4. The total contents of this report document can be focused and prioritized in a matter of a few hours, even with very large groups (100's).
The good news, and the bad news, is that it works. Good news because it gets people and work moving, bad news because that may mean lots of things are going to be different than before. Wanted things can appear, unwanted things disappear, and sometime vice versa - but that's how life is. In short, then, Open Space brings life back to organisation and organisations back to life.