Fairy Circles


6th August 2020 by Steve Holyer

Thanks to Frank Eiffert for sharing their work on Unsplash.
Frank Eiffert

Popping up everwhere ... Like Fairy Circles

Are you seeing as many Remote Open Spaces popping-up as I am?

It’s exciting. It’s like looking out at the garden one morning to see fresh fairy circles. (Do you call them fairy circles? That’s what we called clusters of toadstools, because we said they sprouted where fairies dance.)

Open Space is far easier than it looks and much harder than you ever imagined.

When the gobal pandemic hit, people immediately reached for Open Space Technology.  Open Space is an organic way to meet disruption and chaos. People must have felt Open Space fit—almost by instinct. That's one reason people around the world are eager to use the power of open space to cope with the changes swirling around us right now.

Unfortunately, many agile Open Space events are simply run as agenda-less meetings—even though they can be so much more. Many Agilists never see or experience the true simple power of Open Space—even when they've stood in a circle repeating a script they’ve heard before.

An Open Space Leadership Course and Workshop

That’s why I offer our Open Space Leadership workshop to people who want to discover the life-changing magic of Open Space.

If Open Spaces are like toadstools, are they just fungal growths? Or, are they the footprints of fairies?

The Open Space Leadership workshop is about the value of Open Space. The big question we answer is: How does Open Space work to create big (and small) outcomes that matter?

We’ll also ask and answer these quetions:

How does an Open Space Leadership mindset allow you to hold powerful, generative and emergent events (online or in the same room)?

How does and Open Space Mindset allow you to create and lead with self-organisation?

5 Things to Remember About Open Space

Some things that people holding space can remember:

  • Open Space is full of paradox.

Here’s one: "Open Space is far easier than it looks, and much harder than you ever imagined."

  • Invitation is key. Mobility—which by it’s nature includes voluntary opt-in and opt-out—is the only law of open space. It’s a natural law. (It's also a vital component of any successful remote facilitation.)
  • Open Space is not agenda-less.

Even more-so, your sponsor’s spark and deliberate planning before the event is a critical part of Open Space. That’s critical for holding a space for participants to self-organise and create exactly the agenda they need for the exact moment they find themselves in.

(This is a big part that of Open Space that many agilists aren’t even aware of when they say "this is easy", and then copy an opening circle script to launch an open space. They’ve never seen this aspect of open space because it’s usually out of sight.)

  • People will always try to take the space for themselves. Often people do this unintentionally or even eagerly with the best intentions! And sometimes (although rarely) the do it with no good intention.

When you are leading with Open Space you are the steward of the actual space. Your job is to hold it open and offer the space to all. So what do you do when a space-invader suddenly spawns to take the space for themselves? That’s another paradox. "Remember the principles ... and walk away."

  • Open Space is not just for the expansive part of ideation. It’s great for creating lots of ideas (that’s the divergent part of ideation). And it’s also for convergence, planning, decision making, and creation.Open Space can literally create order from chaos naturally.

Open Space Leadership moves you from chaos to complexity. It also helps you adapt in complexity to find simplicity.

Your Invitation

I’m inviting you to this course and workshop that fits this time perfectly, although the course material has already been proven over several years. You'll come to remember, understand and create leadership with the 5 thnigs above. You'll learn to hold Open Spaces that matter—remotely.

(And,when it’s safe you’ll be ready again to do it in the same room.)

After the workshop, you’ll use your Open Space mindset to grow authentic leadership in your sphere especially in these times with your distributed teams.

Join the next course and workshop.


More About The Course & Workshop

When is the workshop?

A new workshop starts when we have a cohort of 6 keen Open Space Leaders eager to go. And, I want to start the next workshop on 17 August. So sign-up now for the next cohort. Let’s get ready to go.

What is the workshop?

The workshop is 4 fully interactive online sessions of 3 hours with 1-2 hours of prep work before each session. Here's more information about the workshop.

And what about remote?

This workshop has always been remote-first.

Now is the time for Remote Open Space Leadership.

Facilitators are fascinated by shiny new technology (and geek leaders too). So of course right now we’re all looking for great on-line Open Space tools for remote Open Space.

While it's not the main focus of our workshop we will also explore ways of using this shiny new tech.

Caring for the actual space is part of what an Open Space facilitator does—and in this case the space is virtual and tech based. However, keeping it as simple as possible is also extremely important.

Here’s another open space paradox: We desperately need virtual Open Space Tools, and there is nothing to add.

We’ll play with that paradox and build a deeper understanding of holding Remote Open Space in this next workshop. You’l be able to evaluate what you need from your Open Space technology—and you’ll be ready to choose the fitting remote tool from the  the available tools.

You even save €100 with the early-bird prepayment available today and while supplies last.

Not ready to commit and pay now? You can also signup and participate fully in the first online session before you pay and commit to the whole course. Because it starts when it starts.

Join the next workshop.

Upcoming Open Space Leadership Events

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