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Expanding Our Now: The Story of Open Space Technology [Kindle Edition]

Harrison H. Owen
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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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.


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Open Space Technology (OST) is an effective, economical, fast, and easily repeatable strategy for organizing meetings of between 5 and 1,000 participants. First developed in 1984, it has now been used around the world with all types of organizations including corporations, community groups, government agencies, schools, and churches. OST produces better meetings and helps groups achieve such organizational goals as self-managed work groups, distributed leadership, and utilizing diversity quickly and without training. In Expanding Our Now, OST creator Harrison Owen offers numerous examples to illustrate the evolution of OST and explores what it 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. Owen shows how OST can move organizations to higher levels of performance, without elaborate training or professional facilitators.

Product Details

  • File Size: 224 KB
  • Print Length: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (July 14, 1997)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005X0OLB6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,373,433 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read! February 16, 2001
Format:Paperback
Owen Harrison is no longer just the man who wrote the book on Open Space Technology — He’s now the man who wrote the books. Expanding Our Now is Harrison’s second crack at explaining the organizational theory he developed after watching a celebration in an African village. Basically the theory boils down to this: A group will organize itself to solve a specific problem if you sit everyone in a circle and get out of the way. The nuts-and-bolts of this process were described in Harrison’s earlier, Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide. This time around, the author gives us a bit more history and theory. Your reaction to this book will depend to a large extent on how ready you are to accept OST as a concept and how open to new management techniques you are in general. But even if you’re not in the market for newly minted organizational theories, we at getAbstract.com recommend that you read this book, if only to absorb some of its innovative suggestions about how to get the most out of that bane of corporate life — the meeting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The WHY of Open Space Technology. July 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A short and succinct history of Open Space Technology. This book is a perfect companion to the instruction book for Open Space Technology by the same author.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is ideal for practitioners that are curious about to know more about the methods they employ. Harrison Owen is not an academic but he has discovered a 'meeting methodology' that uncovers fabulous territories where the notion of organisational change and renewal gains new meanings.
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