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Mike Wagner

"Now that the conference is over, delegates can use the Ning to further their discussions and initiatives – while automatically informing the community of their efforts and allowing the conversation to grow."

How do we keep the conversation alive after the event?

That's the question that rattles around in my noggin.

Ning sounds like a good way to do it.

Keep creating...a story worth repeating,

Jack Martin Leith

As Mike Wagner says, this is "a story worth repeating", and I've repeated it here with a few comments of my own and a link to the bit of my Open Space microsite that's about "after the event": http://www.jackmartinleith.com/?p=1700.

If the OS event spawns projects and project teams, I've discovered that you need to do the following if you want to keep the flame alive: have the project managers form a project co-ordination team, the purpose of which is to keep each other, and all other interested parties, updated on the progress of their projects. (Their monthly reports can be published on Ning if you've adopted Carman's excellent approach).

Now this is the bit that makes the whole thing work: the project co-ordination group I've just mentioned *must* include a member of the top management team as an equal member. This keeps the projects on the main management agenda, and ensures that they're wired into the resource allocation system. And if things go wrong, (1) that's a heaven-sent opportunity to turn breakdown into breakthrough, and (2) the senior manager can intervene if required.

If you're a theory boffin like me ("there's nothing so practical as a good theory"), the science behind the approach I've just described is Stafford Beer's Viable System Model - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viable_System_Model. The project co-ordination team and the Ning facility make up System Two.

Thanks again for sharing your story, Carman. It's essential reading for anyone involved in big collaborative events, whether based on Open Space Technology or other methods.


@Mike @Jack - thanks so much for stopping by. Lovely to see the interest generated by this harvesting approach. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

cheers, cp

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