Space Invaders

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

I had dinner with Nancy White and some friends on Saturday. I picked up a nice bit of jargon from Nancy who (like me) is a big practitioner of Open Space facilitation. Open Space is an approach to meetings that puts the agenda firmly in the hands of participants on an equal basis.

This concept freaks some people out. Often in the run-up to an Open Space these folks try to suggest little “improvements” to the process (eg “to make sure actions happen”) which nearly always are ways to remove time from participants and replace openness with predicatability. They claim they are introducing more structure but really they are preventing the emergence of organic structure. This is usually on the unconscious assumption that they know better than everyone else what should happen.

Nancy’s term for these folks is “space invaders”. Having a name for them feels like a good thing.

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