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OPEN STRATEGIC CONVERSATIONS Final Report Christine Whitney Sanchez Claudia Haack December 2005 © KAIROS Alliance Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "OPEN STRATEGIC CONVERSATIONS Final Report Christine Whitney Sanchez Claudia Haack December 2005 © KAIROS Alliance Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 OPEN STRATEGIC CONVERSATIONS Final Report Christine Whitney Sanchez Claudia Haack December 2005 © KAIROS Alliance Inc.

2 Purpose of this Report Document and summarize the work performed by KAIROS Alliance Inc. Provide an overview of the training and events at the national convention. Give a meta view of what the process accomplished. Highlight emergent messages from the conversations. Continuing the quest for application of large group methods in Girl Scouting.

3 OVERVIEW OF TASKS Deliverables December 2005

4 Overview of Tasks Design and conduct Open Space Technology and World Café Training for 95 volunteers. Facilitate volunteer self-organization to support events at convention. Deliver Open Space on Governance for over 1600 delegates. Co-design and coach the development of Strategy Café sessions at Girl Congress and the National Convention attracting approximately 3000 attendees.

5 Overview continued Detailed coordination of all volunteer efforts in highly distributed system & coaching of lead volunteers. Develop critical path capturing all logistic details for all events. Claudia Haack of KAIROS supports self-organized action.

6 PROPOSAL OUTCOMES Building Capacity & Spirit for Change December 2005

7 Building Capacity & Spirit For Change PROPOSAL : Generate the experience of opening the Girl Scout movement Open Space Principle: Whoever comes are the right people Open Space participant quote: Support one another in the ambiguity and anxiety as we answer very hard questions for the organization and that we sustain one another as we try. We need to include more and more girls and younger girls. We need to share these conversations with the people back home and become more girl-centric.

8 Building Capacity & Spirit cont. PROPOSAL: Demonstrate a clear commitment to and offer robust methods for generating a winning proposition and creating alignment with it. Open Space participant quote: I have been a Girl Scout for so long I never thought I could find anything that could deepen my connection but listening to all of this, maybe I can go on for another 100 years. - Pat Boykin More than 1,600 in Open Space and over 2,000 in Strategy Cafés dialogued about the future of Girl Scouting.

9 Building Capacity & Spirit cont. PROPOSAL: Change the organization by virtue of people getting in touch with their own passion for the movement by talking about what they really care about rather than "what's wrong" One of hundreds of Strategy Cafés Design Team quote: People were just so happy to have an opportunity to talk. The content wasnt that important. They just wanted to give input, be heard and having a conversation in a small circle gave them that. - Sam Tysver

10 Building Capacity & Spirit cont. PROPOSAL: Identify, explore and address the most important issues and opportunities for the strategic direction the Girl Scouts are taking. Design Team World Café Design Team quote: People need to talk about whatever they need to talk about, whether it was the Design Team, Macy, the Open Space or the Strategy Cafés, people really appreciated the opportunity these methods provided them with. Martha Webb

11 Building Capacity & Spirit cont. PROPOSAL: Gather new ideas, resources and people and connect them to each other and to the strategic direction. Multigenerational Strategy Cafés Delegate Quote: While parts of the Council Meeting were extremely important, I kept thinking, It would be much richer if we were having Strategy Café conversations. - Maria Ort

12 Building Capacity & Spirit cont. PROPOSAL: Document all results and commitments on a website, capturing all strategic themes, clear priorities, immediate actions steps and commitments for moving initiatives forward. Website participant quote: Thank you for all of this info. I enjoyed reading what others said at sessions that I could not attend. You did a great job on getting this info to us. - Posted by Judy Jennings 11/18/05 8:35:44 Transcribing 657 session reports - found at:

13 Building Capacity & Spirit cont. PROPOSAL: Distribute all of this information to a (re)energized and action-ready community of people. Smooth Operator Quote: What a wonderful experience. I am so honored to have been a small part of the Open Space and Strategy Cafés. I believe that we have introduced a very dynamic and potentially meaningful set of dialog tools to the National Council session and all of Girl Scouting. On my trip home my head was filled with visions of the wide range of communication opportunities these concepts would be most useful for, and I can hardly wait to see them in action. As we move forward I hope we can all continue to work together. - Leah Gerlach and Jan (guide dog) Celebration! Open Space Table of Contents distributed to 10,000

14 Building Capacity and Spirit For Change cont. PROPOSAL: Empower them to tell that story to the rest of the organization, community, or world. Smooth Operator Quote: At work today, I downloaded all the conversations and printed hundreds of pages, put them into a book and started to circulate around our staff. I think that is a beginning. It is important for the staff that did not participate in the Convention to read everything. Thank you so much for helping us in this process. I shared tonight with leaders in a community meeting my experience in Atlanta, believe me they were all ears. Since I already have an Open Space event for Older Girls scheduled for November, everybody was asking about it. - Martha Krall Interactive website

15 Building Capacity and Spirit For Change cont. PROPOSAL: Seed cycles of invitation and innovation, that will continue to initiate further learning and contribution. Open Space participants quote: We just met today and weve known each other for four hours, from Indiana and Pennsylvania, and we are going to work together to get things organized. Now my troop is connected to her troop and others we met today and we are going to be better because of this. - Two Teen Girl Scouts

16 VOLUNTEER TRAINING Edith Macy Conference Center August 2005 December 2005

17 Volunteer Training - Purpose Train a significant number of members of the organization in methods of self-organization, specifically Open Space Technology and World Café. Create the experience of high engagement, deliberate conversation and effective self- organization for participants through those methods. Facilitate the use of the methods to co-create all volunteer activities for Governance Open Space and Strategy Cafés at the convention and Girl Congress.

18 Training Purpose cont. Create High Performance Team to design and coordinate all aspects of the Open Space and Strategy Cafés at National Convention. Build organizational capacity for distributed initiatives in applying these methods locally. Develop shared understanding of context and purpose of Open Space and Strategy Cafés at GS Convention.

19 Training Results All 96 participants were trained in Open Space Technology and World Café by using the very same methods in only 3.5 days. They then used the methods to do the planning and accomplish the work.

20 Training Results cont. Participants left with a working knowledge of the methods and can now apply OST and World Café in their environment. They learned to: Trust the Process.

21 Training Results cont. While the task of coordinating close to 100 volunteers in under 5 weeks without any designated project manager seemed somewhat unrealistic and daunting, they discovered that it was not only possible but fun.

22 Training Results Based on a general framework developed with the Design Team, training participants self-organized into many different support activities and dubbed themselves Smooth Operators.

23 Training Results cont. The support group that generated by far the most excitement were the Themefinders – here in their planning session – with the potentially grueling task of sifting through thousands of pieces of paper.

24 Training Results cont. Other support groups included: – Governance Open Space volunteers – Technology group – Maitre Ds for the Strategy Cafés at the convention and the Girl Congress.

25 Training Results cont. All volunteers self-organized to ensure: – Room/space set up: from seat-cushions to market-place wall – Hand-out distribution. – Live session topics display – a first in the industry. – Advertising and staffing hundreds of Strategy Café sessions. – Capturing the majority of all session reports to be published on the web.

26 Training Results cont. Experiencing a change method that is inclusive and participatory created for most participants a renewed sense of hope and enthusiasm for the organizations strategic priority efforts. In the words of volunteer Linda Hildebrand: I am so grateful to have been selected to be a part of such a wonderful model for inclusive change management. The energy of the effort will resound within our organization. An invitation for all who wish to join the conversations has so much power.

27 Training Results cont. Several volunteers have already used these methods in their respective home councils with great success. Thanks for the experience! I will treasure it always. I am anxious to extend this, Open Space and or Strategy Cafe, process to Girl Scouts and other venues/organizations. I used the Cafe strategy with about 150 volunteers in my council a few weeks ago, theme "found" with the papers all over my house, then reported out with quick response. Connie Dumas Coleman, Smooth Operator

28 2005 CONVENTION Open Space & Strategy Cafés October 7 – 10, 2005 December 2005

29 Open Space on Governance Smooth Operators volunteers set up the open space In the month following the training, the 95 member Smooth Operators team, continued to self-organize online, completed all of the planning and arrived days ahead to set-up and put the finishing touches on the logistics for the Open Space on Governance and the Strategy Cafes.

30 Open Space on Governance cont. On October 7, 2005, more than 1,600 Girl Scout National Delegates or their substitutes were welcomed to the Open Space on Governance in Hall B3 of the Georgia World Congress Center. Christine Whitney Sanchez of KAIROS Alliance Inc. opened the space for this historic event and described the process to the largest group ever gathered in Open Space in the United States.

31 Open Space on Governance cont. Any one who cares to is invited to post a topic that relates to the convening question: What would our governance structure look like on a national and local level if it met the test of being efficient, decisive, and action-oriented? Ninety-four topics were posted immediately.

32 Open Space on Governance cont. Participants choose the sessions they would like to attend.

33 Open Space on Governance cont. Reading Reports at the end of the Open Space. As participants come back into the hall for the closing circle, they are able to read the hot-off-the-presses reports from the first two sessions. By the next day, they could read all of the reports on the website.

34 Strategy Cafés Trained girl hosts and supported Strategy Café conversations for 900 girls and 300 adults at the Girl Congress. Invited over 2000 attendees to 6 topic centered cafés in the Exhibit Hall.

35 Strategy Cafés continued Several hundred reports were captured and posted on a website on all Strategic Priorities, providing valuable input to the Gap Teams.

36 EMERGENT OVERARCHING MESSAGES Themes and Patterns from Open Strategic Conversations December 2005

37 Emergent Overarching Messages Themefinders scour the reports to gather the collective intelligence found in Open Space and Strategy Café reports. Themefinder quote: I had a Gap Team Leader meeting yesterday. Several of the Gap Teams spent a lot of time reviewing the feedback. The Volunteerism Team found it very useful. The Program team found the perspective that the girls bring different from what they have heard from adults. Julie Murphy

38 Emergent Overarching Messages 1. Its all about the girls! How can the girls be involved at every level of thinking and decision making? Open Space participant quote: What put me in motion was having one of our sessions lead by girls and the leadership skills they have…they say that they dont have a voice even though they have shown they can do it. Open Space girl participant quote: What had heart and meaning for me was that all these adults REALLY wanted to hear what I had to say!

39 Emergent Overarching Messages 2. Organizational Transformation = Critical Mass of Personal Transformations Design Team quote: The organization benefited because the Macy group - those who might not have been sure we should change - are the converted. Martha Webb Smooth Operator quote: As I look back on the past month, I think of all the wonderful days that went by when you led each of us to slowly and deliberately give up little pieces of who we are to people we didnt even know to enable the Movement to move forward in new directions it never thought of before – and I thank you for allowing me a place in the process. Sue Williams A Smooth Operator

40 Emergent Overarching Messages 3. How can authentic, skillful communication flow in all directions, across all levels and functions? Open Space participant quote:Thanks GSUSA for engaging us in this process! Themefinder Quote: This was a tremendous step in building trust. There were lots of specific suggestions. Now there must be an acknowledgement of that information. This is what you told us and this is what we are going to do and why. Martha Webb

41 Emergent Overarching Messages 3. How can authentic, skillful communication flow in all directions, across all levels and functions? Cont. Themefinder Quote: It will be vital to pull out all the key messages from the convention and the Gap Team work and then create an actionable list that CEOs can hold in their hands. Jan Verhage Themefinder Quote: Describe the kind of communication that you are making. It needs to be labeled – this is a communication for input or a decision has been made and heres how to get behind it. Eileen Doyle

42 Emergent Overarching Messages 4. National and local follow-up and follow-through are keys to keeping the faith and expanding the learning. Open Space participant quote: Weve got to keep the ball rolling…hopefully GSUSA is looking at this input and will respond to the ideas recorded here today. Design Team quote: In addition to the brilliance and wonder that did happen, what can we do to grow it in the future…the response from the people who worked, the response I heard last night – theres a lot of energy there and expectations. This should NOT just be a one shot deal. Cindy Tenn

43 Emergent Overarching Messages 4. National and local follow-up and follow-through are keys to keeping the faith and expanding the learning. Cont. Themefinder quote: Acknowledge the road not taken. We chose to do Y as opposed to X. There are multiple right answers. Martha Webb Themefinder quote: There needs to be a way to pull all of this together – a summary piece that puts all the various aspects into a common format. Its way too much for anybody to digest – need to hone it down. We dont want to duplicate what the Gap Teams are doing. Jan Verhage

44 Thank You We would like to thank GSUSA and especially CEO Kathy Cloninger for the opportunity to work for you and with you. It was a powerfully rewarding experience. We truly hope that our work keeps on working long after we have completed our contract.

45 Thank Yous continued There are two GSUSA staff members that we would especially like to thank. Carol McMillan whose professionalism, kindness, dedication to and knowledge of Girl Scouting, capacity to go with the flow and tenacity to get things done were a continual inspiration. Julie Murphy whose passion for the new direction infected us and many others. She truly kept holding the space for meaningful deliberation in this large and multi-faceted organization for girls.

46 More Thank Yous It is impossible to thank all our Smooth Operators adequately and to capture and acknowledge all that they have done. They were simply fantastic! We created our structure out of passion, by taking responsibility for what has heart and meaning for each of us. And with resilience and grace, we shared our passion with 1,600+ participants in Open Space and over 2,000 girls and adults in Strategy Cafes. I am so very grateful to each of you who shared your considerable talents and hard work in the spirit of camaraderie and love of Girl Scouting. Christine Whitney Sanchez 10/13/05 to GSOSC Volunteers

47 More Thank Yous And if there was such a thing as a Smooth Operator OSCAR it would surely go to our two point producers: Martha Webb and Cindy Rodarte Tenn!

48 More Thank Yous Finally, we thank Harrison Owen and Peggy Holman, Juanita Brown and Jennifer Landau and the hundreds of people in the Open Space and World Café communities all over the world who held the space with us as we did this work. Thank You!


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