Owen on self organization& facilitation

…In my simple mind, things look like this. First: All systems are self organizing, even those we think we organize. Second: Organizing a self organizing system is not only an oxymoron, but stupid – especially when the system can do a better job all by itself. Third: Whenever we try to organize a self-organizing system, we inevitably get it wrong. Our efforts are “clunky.” Even though it may look great on paper, our efforts are never subtle or flexible (agile) enough. Fourth: Open Space is simply an invitation to self organize. In other words it is simply an invitation to be and do what we are. The fact that it works as it does has nothing to do with our knowing any philosophy, principles, practices… It works as it has for 13.7 billion years, long before we arrived on the scene, all without our help and assistance. Fifth: the real value of OST is as a training program enabling us to experience consciously and intentionally what all too often passes by unnoticed – Life. It is also a marvelous laboratory in which we can learn more about our natural state. And oh yes – all the principles, philosophies, practices, etc are fun, interesting, and useful to the extent that they help us to understand with greater clarity what is really going on. But at the end of the day they really don’t change a thing. I think.

Major suggestion: Take a deep breath (several are better) and enjoy the
ride. And I agree with Eiwor, Facilitating as the CEO is always interesting.
The trick is to truly and honestly open the space, which means that you need
to get out of the way (Totally present and absolutely invisible). For
example, when folks go to the wall to sign up for their sessions, that would
be time for you to walk out of the room. No fan fare, no words of
explanation. Just go. Take a good walk. I usually take a nap. And come back
perhaps an hour later. That simple act will make clear, as nothing else can
that the space is open. That the people are in charge. Most of all have fun!

Harrison Owen