Open Space Story -- A multi-national pharmaceutical company(2001)

Author作者:Author作者:Gail West
Translator譯者:Laura Hsu

The Setting前言

A multi-national pharmaceutical company with operations in Taiwan was undergoing changes in management, locally and internally, and experiencing tremendous pressure from National Health regulation changes and increased competition. The Managing Director’s vision for the coming year was a huge leap in growth. He was clear it would take a strong consensus, full support and unparalleled initiative from all employees. Open Space Technology was the approach chosen to move ahead.


The Process of The Open Space Events

After 4 extended meetings, the Open Space Theme and “Givens” were agreed upon. A 2-day Dialogue Retreat focused on the context and vision for Open Space was held with the eight senior executives. Then a 2-day Open Space meeting was held with 55 managers. After a full day of gathering in 25 diverse small groups, reports from each were read by all. People were given the opportunity to add their input to groups they had not been able to attend. Seven action arenas were then selected on which to do detailed implementation plans in the afternoon. They were named the “7-Up Projects”. The seven Project leaders reported to the whole group, received input, and announced when they would next meet.


The Results 成果

Reflection and comments at the end of the 2 days included: 1) Great freedom in being able to choose the groups people wanted to participate in, 2) Appreciation for the openness to share real feelings and ideas with so many colleagues, 3) The opportunity to discuss with people from different departments, 4) They felt many issues actually got resolved, 5) The surprise at the informality still allowing a forming of a consensus, including discussions about family relationships as well as business, and 6) The fun of both working and playing hard.

在兩天會議結束後,大家的心得感想包括:1) 能夠選擇討論小組的全然自由 2) 非常感謝有機會能夠與這麼多同事開放地分享真正的感受與想法 3) 有機會與不同部門的人討論問題 4) 他們認為許多問題在會議當中就已經得到解決 5) 很驚訝在不拘形式的討論中能凝結共識,包括家庭關係以及工作 6) 工作賣力也玩得賣力

The 7-Up Project leaders are now on the Managing Director’s “direct report” Executive Committee to keep the information flow going across departments. They up-date each other in a monthly meeting, but use phone and email in between. The employee turnover rate is relatively low compared to other companies, and has been reduced by 50% after the Chinese New Year in comparison to that in the same period of time last year.

Reflections of Managing Director 總經理的心得

Before the program people knew our vision and objectives, but worked individually and “did what they were supposed to do in their departments”. Commitment and communication was not strong. After the meeting people are sharing their ideas, feelings and thoughts – dialoguing with each other. Even with differing opinions there is acknowledgment that there are many ways to achieve their goals and they can agree on the best ones. More innovation continues.


The benefits of the Open Space approach for this group includes:

  • A sense of team spirit, coordination and easier communication
  • A sense of need to communicate with others beyond one’s own department
  • People are now used to brainstorming to get lots of new ideas
  • People are not afraid to take on a challenge and to say what others might disagree with
  • The Managing Director now has time for strategic thinking, rather than doing so much implementation himself or supervising others

About the author 關於作者:

Gail West focuses on human resources consulting, using ICA's "Technology of Participation", Open Space Technology, community building and other "individual potential" technologies, and integrating them into a transformational format for organizations. She can be reached at :

衛格爾 衛女士工作焦點在於人力資源的顧問,運用ICA「參與的科技」、開放空間科技、真誠共同體建立,以及其他開發「個人潛力」的科技,並將之整合為組織轉變的流程。 您可以跟他聯絡

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