The willingness to be unattached to what happens and remain open to what might emerge at an event. It's essential to let go and trust the group to discover and know what is needed.
The reality of being in a complex system - any process that would be organized and reflect these patterns - there’s no way you can know outcomes, and so, it’s useful, from a resourcefulness frame of mind, to be open to outcomes that come up, which could include outcomes that are emergent, and can also include outcomes that are failures. You just can’t know, so there’s this sense that, when we get attached to outcomes we collapse the possibilities. We harm our sensitivities to the things that are happening in the group, by looking for the things that validate our expectations.
This is both a facilitator practice and a group practice, and are slightly different because of the way power works in a group. If a facilitator holds an outcome, it can feel very coercive in a group.
There’s a difference between outcome and intention. If we’re sharing an outcome, we probably don’t need a group process. If the group is tied to an outcome and the facilitator is not, the facilitator may appear incompetent (“Why are we using a facilitator, we know where we need to go”) and the group may feel it’s a waste of time.
The Check-in is a really important way to ground the possibilities of outcome…and for the facilitator to discover if the group reveals a predetermined outcome. Almost all Open Space gatherings are predicated on the emergence of outcomes… the only way that an Open Space will not work is if you are tied to a particular outcome. World Café is about discovering collective intelligences, Appreciative Inquiry begins with discovery, Future Search seeks to discover our unknown, shared future.
Cautions & Caveats:
The dilemma for a facilitator who contracts with a client for some expected outcome, has the dance of trying to honour what was contracted AND honouring what emerges from the group… the dynamic tension is that we’re meeting to go somewhere, to do something, and so on the one hand, a group without a trajectory is “at sea” and on the other hand, the group whose trajectory is too narrowly defined is quite dead….and so we need to be open to outcomes.
Carol and Charles at “boot camp” Open Space re: Salvation Army leadership… We began with introductions and wanting to talk about why so many officers can't wait to retire, a question that came up in open space. His group morphed several times and stayed up all night. By check in on the final morning a group of them had become a reviolutionary cell. They are able to deliver on the commitments that they made.
The container had been made safe for emergence and there was a lot of trust built amongst the group. There was a sense that this was destined to happem that there was an inevitability to their work. By Thirsday they had taken on their future. They had learned enough from us and from themsevles about the kinds of leaders they could be, so the Open Space happened at a time when they were able to actually use their intentions and put them to use for the whole organization.
Openness toward Outcome points primarily to:
Other patterns Openness toward Outcome also points to (secondarily):
Patterns that point primarily back at Openness toward Outcome
Other patterns that also point back at Openness toward Outcome (reverse secondaries):
Category and tags
Angeles Arien: The Fourfold Way and particularly “Let go of outcomes”
Margaret Wheatley: Turning to one another
Personal Stories about Openness toward Outcome
Each card listed here has at least one relevant story. Add your own stories in Anonymous+Personal Stories.
There's some discussion about whether these are patterns, but it feels like if they are, they may be two distinct patterns:
Is “Open” ambiguous enough to encompass them both?
The description / heart should clearly differentiate two dimensions of this.
Not being attached to a specific outcome
Letting go of Outcome as the primary function of that which is being facilitated
Note that these may be two things which would be implemented in quite different ways.
--Daniel Lindenberger.....Wed Sep 29 13:58:16 -0700 2010
The willingness to be unattached to what happens and remain open to whatever might emerge at an event. It's essential to let go and trust oneself and the group to discover and know what is needed.
--LisaMarie DiVincent.....Sun Nov 21 19:21:13 -0800 2010