Open Space Using Zoom – some reflections

Well, that was a joyful experience.

We had an open space event planned for today and were facing having to cancel it due to Covid-19.

Our Open Space...
Some of our Open Spacers!

But thanks to our courageous client, Vanessa Garrity from the Yorkshire and Humberside NHS Leadership Academy, and some courageous participants, we decided instead to take the Elephant in the Room Open Space event online.

A little faffing about with settings and such like and we were able to do nearly everything that we might have done with Open Space in the real world. We had Tom Bailey doing graphic facilitation, we had a lot of smiles and we had some difficult conversations too.

A number of people had their first experience of using zoom, which they enjoyed, we overcame social isolation while remaining safe, and we also did some good work exploring power, inequality and obesity.

Importantly instead of saying we have to put engagement work on hold we were able to carry on almost as usual. Indeed for a couple of our participants who have long term chronic health conditions found the whole experience more enjoyable and much easier than having to travel to a venue and sit on an uncomfortable seat. Result.

We recorded the event, both audio and video, and that is currently being edited, but here are a couple of sneak previews:

And here are a few of the pictures that Tom Bailey drew while the event was running:

So there is a lot we can do to engage staff, citizens, colleagues and patients through our online leadership to offer inspiration, encouragement, support and learning. If you would like us to help you use this time well – then please get in touch!

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