The Workshop where job#1 is design the agenda!

Highly scalable and adaptable, Open Space Technology (OST) has been used in meetings of 5 to 2,100 people.

It’s often described as the meeting with no agenda. True there is no agenda.

When we start however that is the first job of the attendees: To design the agenda
This captures what they really want to talk about not what the few think they want to hear.

The Open Space Technology approach is characterised by few basic mechanisms:

  • a broad, open invitation that articulates the purpose of the meeting;
  • participant chairs arranged in a circle;
  • a “bulletin board” of issues and opportunities posted by participants;
  • a “marketplace” with many breakout spaces that participants move freely between, learning and contributing as they “shop” for information and ideas;
  • a “breathing” or “pulsation” pattern of flow, between plenary and small-group breakout sessions.

Typically, an “open space” meeting will begin with short introductions by the sponsor (the official or acknowledged leader of the group) and usually a single facilitator.

The sponsor introduces the purpose; the facilitator explains the “self-organising” process called “open space.”

Then the group creates the working agenda, as individuals post their issues in bulletin board style.

Each individual “convener” of a breakout session takes responsibility for naming the issue, posting it on the bulletin board, assigning it a space and time to meet, and then later showing up at that space and time, kicking off the conversation, and taking notes.

These notes are usually compiled into a proceedings document that is distributed physically or electronically to all participants.

Sometimes one or more additional approaches are used to sort through the notes, assign priorities, and identify what actions should be taken next.

Throughout the process, the ideal facilitator is described as being “fully present and totally invisible”, “holding a space” for participants to self-organise, rather than managing or directing the conversations

How much does a Rainmaker facilitator cost?

  • If it’s a straight forward , 1-day Strategy Planning Session during the week (not weekends)
  • There is a little phone / email based briefing to be done
  • A facilitator for the 1 day workshop , all materials , all planning and prep, travel to and from the venue
  • Then a good “ball-park” figure is £1,750 + VAT including everything
  • If you need us to help you construct a Knowledge Café or World Café with lots of people
  • Multiple stakeholders with different interests involved
  • Different clean questions and group and plenary sessions
  • May be a face to face briefing and lots of pre-planning then a good range is £3k to £7.5K
  • Call us , Discuss your needs and we’ll give you a fixed price quotation in half a day .

A few recent Workshop projects (Not all OST!)

  1. External Board of Directors of Equality and Human Rights Commission
    • A variety of topics in a 1 day a month sequence
  2. Department of Health Senior Leadership Team
    • Running a Knowledge Cafe style workshop with the topic of
    • “Responsible Drinking for London”
    • Medical Professions, Politicians, Charities etc
  3. Kuoni A Multi-National Travel Company
    • New Leader with an existing team
    • Agreeing a New Vision and New Approach
  4. Strategic Planning workshops for Microsoft Services in the UK.
    • First workshop had 32 people in it, the next one 45 and the next 64 people
    • All rated as hugely successful by the teams.
  5. High impact scenario workshops for BP ( Castrol division)
  6. A weekend based strategy planning workshop for a fast growing IT Services business NETSTAR
  7. A European team member workshop for a new Director in Kuoni
  8. An Operations team strategy and performance improvement workshop for Concrete an IT Platform company
  9. Strategic Planning for ALL of the people in a small software company. Caresys
  10. Strategic Planning for VISA Europe’s Central European Team
  11. Workshops for the managers in a fast growing Homecare company  Abicare
  12. Process Improvement Workshops for a Printing company CPI BOOKS
  13. Workshop and Business Planning with 15 Subsidiary M.D.s for VINCI ENERGIES
    1. Second Series with subsets of VINCI businesses

Where have we facilitated workshops?

  • London and Thames Valley    West Midlands  Essex and Norfolk
  • South West of England   +      Germany / France / Gibraltar

If Open Space Technology would help you get the issues out and resolved…

What should you do now?

Call us now on: 0333 444 1955

Email us at: