Open Source Open Space: Michael Herman, a colleague of Chris Corrigan, has a comprehensive guide to everything you would ever want to know about Open Space, and how to create Open Space events. Please respect the site’s generous copyright. I especially like this ‘elevator speech’ from Harrison Owen:
At the very least, Open Space is a fast, cheap, and simple way to better, more productive meetings. At a deeper level, it enables people to experience a very different quality of organization in which self-managed work groups are the norm, leadership a constantly shared phenomenon, diversity becomes a resource to be used instead of a problem to be overcome, and personal empowerment a shared experience. It is also fun. In a word, the conditions are set for fundamental organizational change, indeed that change may already have occurred. By the end, groups face an interesting choice. They can do it again, they can do it better, or they can go back to their prior mode of behavior.
Open Space is appropriate in situations where a major issue must be resolved, characterized by high levels of complexity, high levels of diversity (in terms of the people involved), the presence of potential or actual conflict, and with a decision time of yesterday. Open Space runs on two fundamentals: passion and responsibility. Passion engages the people in the room. Responsibility ensures things get done. A focusing theme or question provides the framework for the event. The art of the question lies in saying just enough to evoke attention, while leaving sufficient open space for the imagination to run wild.
Deadly C. Difficile Bacteria Blamed on Overuse of Antibiotics & Heartburn Medicines: The Washington Post’s Rob Stein researches the growing number of outbreaks of the virulent C. Difficile bacteria, which is resistant to current antibiotics, spreads easily through contact with people, clothing and surfaces, and is thriving in people taking Prilosec, Prevacid, Pepcid and Zantac heartburn medicines. Millions are now infected with the bacterium, which has killed an alarming 7% of those infected.
Quote for the week is a song lyric from the irrepressible Sam Phillips (Gilmore Girls fans will know her as the writer of that series’ background music). Her song “I Need Love” is one of the most powerful artistic works I’ve ever heard — it gives me shivers every time I hear it. This is from a song (a waltz, you can ‘hear’ the 3/4 rhythm in the cadence of the lyrics) called Reflecting Light:
Give up the ground under your feet
Hold on to nothing for good
Turn and run at the mean times chasing you
Stand alone and misunderstood
And now that I’ve worn out, I’ve worn out the world
Cartoon by Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution