OST in Fortune 500 Company–Kenny Moore writes about his first time

Kenny Moore, co-author of “The CEO and the Monk: One Company’s Journey to Profit and Purpose” (John Wiley and Sons, 2004), writes a witty and candid account of his first Open Space event facilitation. Here’s an excerpt:

“I now invite anyone who has passion about the business to come forward to the microphone… Who would like to go first?”

My invitation was greeted with silence. 400 employees looked around for senior management to take the lead. But they didn’t. Thirty seconds slowly ticked by. The alpha-males in the audience were starting to twitch. With no relief in sight, one brave soul stood up and walked to the microphone. “My name’s Bill Kearns and I’d like to host a session discussing the relocation of the company’s call center.” Right on his heels was another employee who took her place at the mic and spoke her passion. Two minutes later, we had exceeded the 5 employees the CIO feared would never materialize. By the end of 20 minutes we had 53 sessions posted.

Something powerful was underway. Something that could never have been managerially orchestrated. It all seemed to get energy from the freedom inherent in a business “invitation.” Employees sensed that they were in charge. And indeed, they truly were.

The whole story is recounted here in glorious detail.