This September 16th we are going to hold a brand new conference in Seattle. It’s a conference dedicated to Agile Management. It’s for managers, executives, coaches, consultants and leaders (lots of folks!) who use agile practices and techniques to help organizations find a better way of working. If you read this blog, that’s probably you. This conference is intended to create a place to have conversations with leading agile practitioners, share stories, and explore new ideas.
When you arrive, the first thing that strikes you is the sense of history in the building. The next thing that stands out is the circle of chairs. They’re right in the middle of the space and they seem to draw you in.
People start to filter in, some grabbing a cup of coffee and a pastry. Some chatting and exploring the space. Soon, everyone gathers at the chairs and grabs a seat. Things get kicked off with a short keynote from Ray Arell. It’s really just a story. A fireside chat. Sharing an experience – sharing the theme for the day.
Shortly afterward, the open space bulletin board opens and people add their topics. The marketplace opens and the conference starts in earnest.
The marketplace wall is the focal point for a series of conversations. It starts off in the morning being completely blank. They started off with a set of proposed ideas – each idea written on a colored thought bubble. The thought bubbles were taped to the wall. Throughout the day, people connect the bubbles using yarn. Or they add new bubbles. Runners keep the wall up to date, moving back and forth from ongoing conversations.
At the end of the day there is a synthesis. The participants use a single sheet of flip chart paper to summarize their favorite ideas. Working groups form, emails are shared, agendas proposed, and meeting times set.
In the evening, there is a closing, a retrospective, and appetizers and drinks.
That’s not a bad vision, but all of that just captures the superficial stuff. The stuff that we can control. The rest? Well, that’s the “open” part of open space. I don’t know what people will bring. What I do know is it works. I never fail to be surprised.
When is it?
Friday September 16th, 2016 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Where is it?
AXIS Pioneer Square, Seattle
Where Can I Find Out More?