Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Harrison Owen on certification

August is very lively on the Oslist. Several threads and messages, most of which I didn´t read,... Today I drop on another gem from "the man under the cowboy hat", regarding the inconvenience of certificating Open Space
 Certification (whatever that might mean) seems to be a perennial topic. I suppose that is understandable, but for myself it is a horrible idea. My reasons are several. First of all it is too much work. The thought of developing the criteria, programs, and even worse, “protecting the brand” is totally exhausting. We’d have to have certifiers to certify the certifiers and so on ad infinitum. Second reason – Open Space seems to be taking care of itself. When folks come on with “A little Open Space,” “Sort of Open Space,” “Modified Open Space,” ... the participants (increasingly) understand that they aren’t getting the genuine article—and say so. I recall one instance where a large gentleman stood up in the middle of the “program” and loudly proclaimed, “This sure ain’t Open Space! I’m out of here.” And he walked. I guess you could call that “Market Certification.” Best of all  --- it works all by itself. One more thing not to do!!

Harrison Owen

Potomac, USA


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