Open Space & Me ~ A Way to Live and Work
I was introduced to Open Space Technology about 10 years ago. I knew instantly that this meeting methodology that seemed utterly simple was something so much more. I trusted my intuition and followed its trail.
What got me most excited initially was to see how much easier it could be to get people on the same page. Throughout my career (in corporate and operations), I saw the continual struggles of seeing good people working at cross purposes to each other. It was so frustrating and predictable! Open Space, I realized, was the quickest and most elegant way to break through that logjam.
Little could I have guessed then the impact Open Space would have on my whole life ~ personally and professionally. Ultimately leading to this incredible nomad adventure of Open Space on the Open Road. A trek that is all about Life AND Work.
First with no apology, let me just say, I'm friggin nuts about work. Yes, I love my family and friends, outside activities, travel, being in the outdoors and serving my community. But at the heart of everything, I've always believed that the time we spend at work should amplify our life. And not diminish it or eat into it.
Regardless of our job (whether as a waitress, journalist, working in business, manufacturing or consulting ~ I've done them all), life at work should be vibrant, energizing and rewarding. It should mean something because we do something that matters, big or small.
My Big Leap ~ I've never looked back!
From a life perspective, Open Space nudged me to take a big leap, with no road map, letting myself be pulled to a future that I get to create every day.
At the heart of Open Space is inclusion and invitation. It's a hugely robust strategic process that invites people to step forward, bringing the best of who we are to the task or project at hand.
At this point, you might be wondering: What is Open Space? Rather than describe it here and now, let me share a bit of my life story which explains why it resonated so deeply. You'll get a feel for the nuts and bolts of Open Space through the blogs, stories and pics sprinkled everywhere on this website.
The seed for inclusion and invitation was planted early in my career. As a young journalist in my 20’s, I interviewed a wide range of folks from high profile leaders to ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Their eyes lit up with passion and pride as they shared their stories and accomplishments. The give and take of those conversations felt vibrant and alive. I was touched and inspired by them, so often, so many times.
I carried their brimming enthusiasm inside me when I jumped into the world of business which took me on a 25-plus year trajectory into manufacturing, telecommunications (wireless towers industry) and consulting.
What confounded me most over the course of my career was to see the contrasts of those heady proud moments of shared individual and team successes and other periods, far too frequent, where the spirit and energy in the organization or departments seemed sapped. Invitation and inclusion dearly missing.
Hierarchy, with an excessive focus on the "A player" high potentials at the expense of others, excludes so many. Yet it stills reigns strong in most of our organizations today. Sadly our complex and archaic management systems leave little room for ordinary/extraordinary people to thrive and grow.
Open Space Technology...
is a great place to jumpstart your journey. To experience and experiment new ways of
working and living.
You’ll get a better sense of what I’m talking about as you travel with me on this website packed with people and stories who took the leap by opening space to tackle some of their most critical issues and opportunities, at work and in life.
Today more and more companies are testing a myriad of ways to shift gears and dump their status quo.
Times are changing fast, much of it unpredictable. It’s painful to see so many relegated to the sidelines in the 'not good enough' category, this unfair triage of organizational life. Whether by personal choice or forced into limited positions by others, the typical workplace is robbing too many of their lives. My hope is to help change that.
Without a doubt, we need new ways of working to respond in real time to what's coming at us from so many directions, often all at once. Whether technological change, unpredictable markets, or customer needs shifting quickly based on the latest social media information, one can't ignore the pressures to do better ~ much better.
Interestingly enough, the new ways of working ~ Open Space, Self-Management, Agile and more are truly old ways of working. Heads, hearts and minds coming together, leveraging each other to do our best work. Igniting potential and unleashing leadership across the board. I won't deny that it's not easy to introduce new habits of working. But like everything else, the rewards are in the journey and this is a journey worth taking.
I’m thrilled to invite you to journey with me: "Open Space on the Open Road". I look forward to opening some real cool space with you, wherever you are, virtually or face-to-face ~ in your workplace or in the great outdoors where I live and work.