1. Name of Interviewer/Facilitator: Larry Peterson
2. Date of Interview: April 19, 2005
3. Role of Person Interviewed: Sponsor, Director
4. Country Where Event Held: Canada
5. Sector/Business: Non-Profit; Housing
6. How Many OST Events Has the Interviewee's Organization/Unit had? Organization-7, Unit 2
7. Theme of This OST Event:
Tighter Cohesive Work Unit that Creates Customer Satisfaction
8. Key organisational challenges, issues, drivers for this Event?
-Larger organization has changed the direction and structure of the unit after a merger
-Two previous organizations had different approaches
-New roles given to some staff
-Unit documented racism in some practices that require change
-Relationships with Police vary within the unit.
-Teamwork needs improvement
9. Date of Event:
March 23 & March 31, 2004
10. Number of participants: 159
11. How long was the event? 2 - 1 day events
12. Planning Process with the Client
a. Number of Planning Meetings? 3
b. Length of Planning Process (weeks or months)? 1.5 Months
c. Number of people involved in the planning of the event? 9
13. Follow-up with regard to this event
a. Was the follow-up planned before the event took place? Yes
b. Number of Follow-up Meetings 2
1. How would you describe your experience of Open Space Technology?
-It was not foreign to me to bring people together and brainstorm ideas
-It was a larger setting for this kind of approach, however
-Open and inclusive
-Not a lecture, not “you shall”
-People enjoyed it, they wanted to be there
-As a manager I was more comfortable: there were no hecklers at the back, no strong union positioning in the room
2. Describe the impact of OST on:
a.The people who attended
-People enjoyed themselves, which is really important when they have tough work
-Majority saw it as a different way to have a meeting
-“My opinions are important”
-Some managers and Supervisors were not as comfortable initially with this approach; they were used to the traditional format, although those still with the organization (several have since left the organization) have adapted very well to it.
-Most felt a sense of relief that things would be different and that they would have a say
b.On organizational results
-We have not moved from this style of meeting. It is now the standard way we have business meetings.
-We sit in a circle, People who come into the room automatically set up the chairs that way
-People bring topics forward, not just managers
-Feedback from committees in same format
-We capture the thoughts
-We now have a monthly newsletter with updates
-Our meetings are less confrontational, there is a different fell
-Human Rights/Equity study presented in a circle
-3 of the 4 top priority topics went forward. “Morale” topic did not get volunteers.
3. How was it different from your experience of other approaches?
-I already value and have experience with meetings where people engage with people and where decisions are informed by the collective.
-This worked with a larger group
-It moved from plenary to small groups well
-Bumblebees and Butterflies were a major difference: able to move between groups and experience all the pieces
-People have fun
4. Given your experience, in what circumstances would you recommend the use of OS to others?
-At the outset of a new group, a new operational unit
-Use as a check point when you have been in business for a couple of years
-As an evaluation of how things are going. It is a good vehicle for quickly identifying things.