Accelerating change in a multi-national corporation: Open space: the critical moment in systems change

(Lieven Callewaert & Nancy Bragard, 5-2016)


 (important note: Because we share a lot of insight information, we choose not to mention the organization by name, but describe the processes we went through instead. This in respect for the continuation of the process.)

End of december 2015, we were requested to organize the yearly leadership event of a multi-national organization, bringing together the decision makers of that organization as a yearly community gathering. Being a technically driven service provider, these events were evolving step-by-step from a technical forum towards a community gathering.At the same time, some colleagues were already responsible to guide change processes in that organization. The exchange around that topic with the top of the organization made obvious that the event would be an ideal spot to accelerate the changes, needed in the organization.

The changes they were going through, were quite drastic. They wanted to implement a regional structure (6 worldwide regions) instead of now having a dispersed organization with 124 local entities. On paper, this already existed; in reality, it did not live.We asked and got the mandate to create the event as a “change lab”, where the wanted change would be lived instead of talked about, and where co-making around the change would be key. We got enthused reactions to this proposal from the decision makers, and started working out a concrete approach.

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