If you’re wondering where I’ve been, for the last 2 days at least (the rest is a whole other story), I’ve been at the Australian Open Space on Open Space or OSonOSinOz for short. It was great!
A gem which really stood out in my mind was a great discussion which was hosted by Jess Dart titled “Exploring the underpinning philosophy of open space”. In particular Jess was very curious about the epistemology of OS, which in my crude translation is simply about “knowing about knowing”. Now yes, this does seem an esoteric topic and yes you may be wondering what possible practical application this may have, and yes we did ask “does it matter?”. The gem which emerged from this was a classic statement about being happy with not-knowing.
Enter stage left, Greg Jenkins, with a great diagram for us on knowing and not-knowing. In life, work or otherwise, we find ourselves travelling the spiral between ‘the known’ and ‘the unknown’. That is, knowing and not-knowing. It is often when stakes, emotions and eyebrows are high that we find ourselves in this not-knowing area of the spiral. The way that we deal with this ‘not-knowing’ is often a key determiner for the kinds of outcomes that emerge. Being able to stand the complexity, the intensity, the discomfort and generally being happy with not-knowing takes some real effort. Incidently, it is here in the not-knowing area that an open space facilitator will often find themselves.
So, here we were, discussing all about ‘knowing about knowing’ and what emerges is the importance of being happy with not-knowing. Typical.
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