Marie Kondo & The Law of Mobility

photo wikimedia commons
wikimedia commons

The Law of Mobility is at Sure I've realised mobility is at the core of Open Space Technology. It's driving or enabling everything else. But I've needed to expand my understanding of what the Law of Mobility is about. Luckily I had Marie Kondo to help me.

I fell in love with Marie Kondo's coaching style when I saw the first episode of her show Tidying Up on Netflix. I was already a big fan after I read her first two books. I even changed my life by following her tidying up plan. I'd already imagined she has a keen understanding of Lean thinking and an Agile mindset. Then the Netflix series showed her at work. I saw Marie Kondo is holding space with deep fluency.

The open space Law of Mobility, which we called the Law of Two Feet for years, reads:

"If, during the course of the gathering any person finds him or herself in a situation where they are neither learning nor contributing, they can use their [mobility] and go to some more productive place."

(Harrison Owen Open Space Technology User's Guide 1st Edition)

I get lost in the Law of Mobility. I try to weigh the relative differences between what I'm learning and contributing. Then I get stuck.

The Law of Mobility was cluttering my thinking and closing space for me. I don't want to change the Law of Mobility, but I wondered how to declutter my thoughts about it. Then I imagined master space holder Marie Kondo might the Law of Mobility this way.:

If you find yourself in a situation that doesn't spark joy, express gratitude and move somewhere that does.

People often try to change Open Space by introducing new bits into the elegant structure. They would like to enhance the experience. But the clutter they add often closes down space instead of opening it up.

I like the tidiness of the "Kondo-ized law of mobility".

17th December 2019 by Steve Holyer

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