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Expanding Our Now

Book Description

At the start of this thoughtful and revelatory book, Harrison Owen relates the story of how he was lunching with a senior official of the American Society for Training and Development, who observed that if what Owen had just told him about Open Space Technology (OST) was true, then "95% of what we are currently doing does not need to be done." OST is strategy for organizing meetings that is radical, revolutionary, and deceptively simple. Expanding Our Now is an exploration of what OST is, how it developed as a process for meeting management, and how and why it works all over the world, for groups of all sizes dealing with a vast range of issues. To be published simultaneously with Open Space Technology: A User's Guide, -- a companion volume which details methods for implementing an Open Space event -- Expanding Our Now provides historical background, with case studies and delves into the questions of why and how Open Space works. Owen makes a compelling case that OST can move organizations to higher levels of performance, without elaborate training or professional facilitators. By focusing on 'Now' -- this present moment -- perception is expanded so that, for example, AT&T was able to accomplish 10 months work in a matter of 2 days. 'Now' is the heart of the matter. When Now gets big, time and space open up for doing what is needed. In the experience of Owen and thousands of people around the world who have used this technology successfully, OST expands 'Now' . Here he offers numerous successful case studies from corporations (such as Boeing and AT&T), community service organizations, and even countries (Canada) to demonstrate the power of 'Now'. While Open Space violates many of the traditional principles of meeting (and organizational) management, it is remarkably effective. Owen challenges the idea that anyone can actually control a closed system, suggesting that in reality all systems are open, and OST simply acknowledges and takes full advantage of that reality.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Prologue
  5. Chapter I: East Meets West
    1. It Was Bizarre
    2. The Impact of Honesty
    3. Breaking Through
    4. Results?
    5. All About Now
  6. Chapter II: Open Space Discovered
    1. Metaphysical Management and Open Space Technology
    2. Inspiration for Open Space
    3. I Believe I’ve Got It!
    4. Engines of Open Space: Passion and Responsibility
    5. Four Principles and One Law
    6. The Law of Two Feet—Personal Freedom and Responsibility
    7. Indications and Contraindications for Use
    8. Open Space as a Journey
    9. Critical Elements of Open Space
  7. Chapter III: Open Space on the Loose: The Now Grows
    1. Open Spaces and Places
    2. The Stories of Open Space
    3. Expanding Our Now: A Work in Progress
    4. After Open Space—What?
    5. Open Space as Part of Larger Interventions
    6. Open Space as the Intervention
    7. Before and After Open Space
  8. Chapter IV: What on Earth Is Going On?
    1. Open Space Is Not the Exception?
    2. Open Systems/Closed Systems
    3. The Emperor Is Naked
    4. Muddling Through
    5. The Lessons of Open Space
  9. Chapter V: Chaos and Order
    1. The Design Principle for Open Space—Occam’s Razor
    2. Working in the Domain of Spirit—Doing Nothing with Elegance
  10. Chapter VI: Giving the Power Away: The Hero/Heroine’s Journey
    1. Open Space as the Hero/Heroine’s Journey
    2. Operating at a Deeper Level
    3. Do You Really Have to Talk Weird?
    4. Personal Preparation for Facilitation
    5. Is There Something More Here?
  11. Chapter VII: What Next?
    1. A New Mental Model
    2. New Paths for Assessment and Compensation
    3. New Paths for Training and Development
    4. New Paths for the Body Politic
    5. Cyberspace and Open Space
    6. Organization as Spirit: The Gift of Open Space
  12. Chapter VIII: Expanding Our Now: A Journey to Wholeness
    1. The Systems Approach
    2. The Way of Contemplation
    3. The Expanding Now in Open Space
    4. The Appearance of the Stranger
    5. And How Big Is Now?
    6. Expanding Our Personal Now: Bringing Our Whole Selves to the Party
  13. Open Space Print and Video Resources from Harrison Owen
    1. Spirit: Transformation and Development in Organizations
    2. Leadership Is
    3. Riding the Tiger: Doing Business in a Transforming World
    4. The Millennium Organization
    5. Tales From Open Space (edited by Harrison Owen)
    6. Expanding Our Now: The Story of Open Space Technology
    7. Learning in Open Space (thirty-minute video)
  14. The Open Space Institutes in the United States and Canada
    1. Join the Open Space Institute
  15. Index
  16. About the Author
  17. Berrett-Koehler Publishers