Large Group Interventions

Case Assignment

First and foremost, remember to go very carefully through all of the required materials before starting this assignment. There are two short videos and two short articles, plus two in-depth book chapters to go through. There are also some optional readings in the background materials that you can use for your paper. It is important to make sure you understand the ins and outs of Open Space Technology and Future Search before starting on this assignment, so make sure to go through the readings and videos carefully before you start on this paper.

For this assignment, you will be going through four scenarios. For each scenario, cite at least two of the readings from the background readings to support your answer. You need to cite at least four of the readings total for your paper—these can include both required and optional readings listed in the background materials. Your paper should be 4–5 pages in length:

  1. The XYZ Corporation has been growing rapidly for the past 10 years but recently has hit a plateau and is not growing much anymore. The CEO wants to make some large-scale changes, and senior managers of the major departments all agree that major changes should be made. However, there are large differences of opinion among the senior managers of the different departments about what changes should be made . The CEO would like to get the top senior managers to agree on some specific changes, and there are about 50 total senior managers that she would like to involve in the process. Should the CEO use Open Space Technology, Future Search, or neither? Explain your reasoning and justify your answer using at least two of the readings from the background materials.
  2. The new CEO of a large and successful Internet company has just been hired. This CEO is highly experienced, but being new to this company he really wants to get everyone’s opinion about a large range of issues. The CEO is humble and doesn’t want to make any key decisions until he’s heard a wide range of opinions and knows what employees think. The CEO would like to have input from all 500 employees. Should the CEO use Open Space Technology, Future Search, or neither? Explain your reasoning and justify your answer using at least two of the readings from the background materials.
  3. An accounting company has three main divisions: tax, auditing, and accounting information systems. Employees in all divisions are hard-working but quiet. They always give thoughtful answers whenever they are asked a question, and usually provide a lot of data to support their answers. However, they rarely give an opinion and usually stay quiet during meetings unless they are directly asked a question. The CEO would like employee input on what major strategic initiatives to take and would like input from a wide range of employees and managers, and is planning a large group intervention. There are about 40 senior managers and 300 total employees. Should the CEO use Open Space Technology, Future Search, or neither? Explain your reasoning and justify your answer using at least two of the readings from the background materials.
  4. A CEO initiates an Open Space Technology conference. At the start of the conference, the CEO provides a list of topics he wants covered and also gives his opinion on what kind of outcomes he wants from the conference. He also makes attendance at the conference mandatory. When the conference starts, participants all volunteer to give sessions on the topics proposed by the CEO. A few participants propose to give sessions on other topics not mentioned by the CEO, but very few employees come to these sessions and instead go to the sessions covering topics suggested by the CEO. At the end of the conference, the CEO is presented with a carefully worded summary of the conference and given conclusions that the CEO wanted to hear. However, after the conference ends and employees go back to work they are very slow at implementing the recommendations from the conference. What do you think went wrong? Which major principles or concepts of Open Space Technology do you think the CEO violated? Explain your reasoning, and cite Leith (1996) and at least one other source on Open Space Technology to support your answer.

Assignment Expectations

  • Answer the assignment questions directly.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions; don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
  • Make sure to use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred. If you use articles from the Internet, make sure they are from credible sources.
  • Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13 and 14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide,” which is found under My Resources in the TLC portal.

Module 2 – SLP

Large Group Interventions

For this assignment, continue to write about the current organization you work for or one that you worked for in the past. Before writing this paper, make sure to thoroughly review the background readings. Think carefully about how Open Space Technology and Future Search could be used at your organization. Then write a 3-page paper addressing the following questions. Make sure to cite at least three of the required readings in your paper:

  1. What issue facing your organization would be most appropriately addressed using Future Search? Explain the issue and why Future Search could effectively address this issue.
  2. If you organized a Future Search Conference to address the issue identified in Question 1 above, who would you include in the initial planning before the conference? Who you invite to the conference? How many people would you invite, and why? Any other specifics planning details that you would address to ensure the success of the conference?
  3. What issue facing your organization would be most appropriately addressed using Open Space Technology? This should be a different issue than the one you discussion in Question 1. Explain the issue and why Open Space Technology could effectively address this issue.
  4. If you organized an Open Space Technology Event to address the issue identified in Question 3 above, who would you include in the initial planning before the conference? Who you invite to the conference? How many total people would you invite, and why? Any other specifics planning details that you would address to ensure the success of the event?

SLP Assignment Expectations

  • Answer the assignment questions directly.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions; don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
  • Make sure to use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred. If you use articles from the Internet, make sure they are from credible sources.
  • Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13 and 14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide,” which is found under My Resources in the TLC portal.

Large Group Interventions

Required Reading

To start out this module, view these two videos for a basic introduction to the large group intervention methods Open Space Technology and Future Search. These are short animated videos that will explain the basics of these methods

Pashley, S. (2012). Open Space. NHS Research and Development Forum. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vEBcr_YkHU

Kaapz. (2010). Kaapz and Future Search https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfTHKwvAbiA

Now read these two articles for a basic overview of large group interventions such as Future Search and Open Space Technology:

Nixon, B. (1998). Creating the futures we desire – getting the whole system into the room: Part I. Industrial and Commercial Training, 30(1), 4-11. [ProQuest]

Leith, M. (1996). Organizational change and large group interventions. Career Development International, 1(4), 19-23. [ProQuest]

Finally, take a closer and more detailed look at Future Search and Open Space Technology with these final two readings that are highly important for your assignments. You will be required to cite these readings in your papers:

Norum, K. E. (2005). Chapter 15: Future Search conversation. In Dialogue as a Means of Collective Communication (pp. 323-333). Springer Science & Business Media B.V. / Books. [Business Source Complete]

Rogers, J. (2010). Large group interventions. Facilitating Groups. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education. Pp. 98-104 [EBSCO eBook Business Collection. Note: this is a section at the end of Chapter 3 of this book]

Optional Reading

For some comprehensive guides to Future Search and Open Space Technology written by the original creators of these methods see the following books:

Weisbord, M. R., & Janoff, S. (2010). Future Search: Getting the Whole System in the Room for Vision, Commitment, and Action. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers [EBSCO eBook Academic Collection]

Owen, H. (2008). Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide (3rd Edition). Williston, VT, USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. [EBSCO eBook Academic Collection]