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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Evolving Open Space Technology to Second Tier-ness

Evolving Open Space Technology 
to Second Tier-ness

During the Integral Living Room 2013 event we, the participants and hosts, experienced some of the limitations of Open Space Technology (and see here) as normally engaged in from Green consciousness (a process originating within a Green/Orange context.) Then we looked into what might be changed, to move it toward a new form/process engaged in from more 2T consciousness, and in particular from a 2T "we-space" consciousness. Given that people differ in their capacity to think as "We," what would could change in the design, to shift the structure and enable the OS conversation/process to function in a more 2T "we" way? How would we make it "better?"

The following is a summary of my notes on the answers to those questions which came up in discussions during the ILR.

Tweaked areas and the main new aspects
The LR aspects especially to do with recording, the instructions given to participants, and an overarching question shaping the process: “What does 'We' need as a result of reports of groups?” New at 2T is focusing the whole process toward a “we” goal, vs Green’s subjective-sensing focus. And also new is a purpose and reporting-style of “capturing the passion” rather than attempted comprehensive reporting and collating.

Morphing OS Technology as a personal and group practice
The changes become a personal and group “practice:” Notice your reaction to excuding! Notice your expectations. Give permission to push you to discomfort. Practice being a 2T participant. Notice how you choose to use your attention, for example, focusing on what we want vs what we don’t want. See process without bogging down in it.

The following is a list of “morphed” characteristics of/processes in a Second Tier Open Space technology.

During the conversations
Each person forsakes the goal of being seen and heard, and sees the conversation as a gift to the community. Each person comes from “their highest voice.”

The recording process
Recorder highlights, notes action items, which are reported back.
Recording to highest good, widest good, putting the essence into our networks.

The reporting-back process

Can be learned: Reporting back is a capacity, with learnable skills.

Role of goal: Door opening our ideas for all reporting to give it focus and energy. What questions, where move attention for most leverage to hierarchy of ideas. In service of!

Goal-oriented: What is important to report: what is valuable in order to move forward vs things we talked about. Essentialize, provide value vs “We said.”  Integrate what matters vs putting selves to sleep. Crystallize, essentialize, discern, using the goal as the guide.

If the goal is transformation: Reporter as champion of emergence - what pops us up vs wisdom. What wisdom we HAVE to share to transform US. What does WE need to hear, in order to evolve and grow? Raises the bar.

Passion and “We” as guides: 3rd person-speaking reports are about what happened. Instead, want to feel the passion. 1st-person reporting MY experience (what struck me…) vs being a WE reporter.

Importance of LR systems: Nothing left behind if essentials-only are reported if conversations are digitally-recorded and made available.

Collective responsibility for energy: Take responsibility as a collective. Notice OUR energy, focus on energetics of reporting back. Is there resonance to the report? Is there bridging? Are nuggets being extracted from the conversation recroding? Can we get this snappy? Is reporting energy vivid, energetic? Let’s do transmission now, instead of reporting. Convey the flavor. It was meaningful. Capture that.

Power of Reporter: Reporter to discern what to report, has power thereby. To crystallize, or to negate.

by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., Head Minister, Amplifying Divine Light in All Church
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George said...

The emphasis on the consciousness and competences of the reporters from the sessions make me think that for best result they would need to be trained or at least receive a thorough orientation. Yet, in the present form and design of OS, they just self-select during the session, so there's no room/time for such orientation. How would your 2nd tier design handle that dilemma?

"Amplifying Divine Light in All" Church said...

Fabulous question, George, thank you. I can think of two answers, from differing angles. One is that the on-the-spot "instructions" for how to carry out the reporting activities, can be framed to evoke the greatest possibility within each of the people, that they will use the more "second-tier" consciousness approach to doing their reporting.

But the second answer is that the reporting aspect of the shifts in OS can't be isolated. As described, the entire process is framed/instructed differently, not just the reporting. So everyone is made aware of the over-arching purpose, for example, so the job of reporting is aligned with that.

And no amount of 2T-based or 2T-oriented instructing or inviting would enable just any group to engage in 2T OS. It's not just a matter of different instructions, though different instructions IMO would produce an experience of OS which is noticeably different from a thoroughly Green OS experience.

The consciousness of the individuals and of the group, matter, and the practice they've gone through with this new approach.

In a new group, with no prior experience and few individuals ready for this move, I think the best one could hope for, is 2T framing and instructions for the whole process and the roles, which are aimed to evoke as much as possible, of the new ways of doing OS. I am sure the experience would be different from the ordinary, that I am sure of.

What do you think?

Ben Roberts said...

Per the last comment, I agree that this mostly sounds like what happens naturally if the individuals and the group as a whole are already coming from a higher consciousness. So it's not clear to me that this is a shift from "traditional" Open Space as form.

In practice, it will often be the case that participants in an OS engagement reflect a wide range of levels. OS strikes me as one of the best processes for accommodating that due to its fluidity. It seems possible that a small 2T cohort might be able to elevate the group without having to impose any sort of shared guidelines, simply by showing up and being effective.

I also wonder about the importance of "reporting out." In a classic "working" OS that takes place over days and is clearly focused on addressing an urgent need or possibility, my sense is that the process works at the level of a group gestalt more than through systematic transmission of data from one session to another. The notes may matter a lot less than we think. Maybe their primary purpose is to help orange/green to relax!