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Creative Commons BY-SACopyright (C) Martin Grimshaw, Francois Knuchel & Daniel Mezick (author of Prime/OS™) 2014-15

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Open Smart Transformation
 (OST), a Caterfly brand, is a derivative of Prime/OS™ as described in, which also makes significant use of Open Space Technology ( OST has been developed by Francois Knuchel and Martin Grimshaw based on Daniel Mezick’s original work and Prime/OS™.

This work is based on Prime/OS™, published as an Open Source, Free Cultural Work via the CC-BY-SA license from Creative Commons.  Prime/OS is also referred to as OSA when used in Agile Adoptions.
Download the Prime/OS™ Definition Here:

OST is a process implementation methodology that introduces transformation gently into a client organisation. OST implements a ‘passage‐rite’ structure that is framed by two organisation‐wide Open Space events. OST comprises and leverages the following core elements:

  • The Open Space meeting format [Open Space Technology, developed by Harrison Owen]
  • Game Mechanics (goals, rules, progress mapping, opt-in presence)
  • Invitation (including framing right questions)
  • Leadership Storytelling (and behaviour)
  • Principles of engagement, participative facilitation and respect
  • Cultural Anthropology (Passage Rites, “Master of Ceremonies”)

OST applies these various elements across a timeline spanning several months. OST implements a passage-rite-like transformation, which has a clear beginning, middle and end. It is important to note and understand that OST is an organisation‐level transformation process rather than an individual-level one. The organisation is best viewed as a single entity (a single social system, rather than a collection of individuals) when implementing OST.

By ‘SMART’ we mean Smarter ways of working.  These can be state-of-the-art systems, methods or organisational mind-sets which aim to enable a business or organisation to be more efficient, more responsive, leaner, more agile, more conscientious or more sustainable. We use the term Smarter Working as shorthand for a variety of more human, healthier, more responsible, whole system, self-organisation or self-management approaches to working together, including but not limited to: Agile, Lean, Responsive, Conscious Business, Sociocracy, Kaizen, Environmental or Sustainability Management Systems (EMS or SMS), Holacracy, Management 3.0 and more.

The big picture of OST consists of 3 distinct “Phases”:

Phase 1: Introduction and Implementation. The start and successful completion of the (first chapter of the) adoption process bound by time and two distinct beginning/ending Open Space iterations

Phase 2: Development and Consolidation. Consolidating adoption through follow-up Open Space iterations, and/or Chapters 2, 3 … of adoption process following same Open Space events as in Phase 1 (where implementation is staged into more than one chapter)

Phase 3: Competence and Continuous Learning. Successful completion of Phase 2, as evidenced by several “Chapters” spanning at least two chapters. Shift to learning organisation mode

OST in more DETAIL:  Core Elements

1. OST Phase 1: Introduction and Implementation. Experiencing engagement via opt‐in participation and Open Space.  This is the first level, the level of “introduction” to the basic SMART concepts being implemented, and facilities of the OST method: openness, invitation and opt‐in participation.

  • Opening Consulting with Leadership by Coach/Consultant, including planning for Open Space iterations
  • Invitation as the primary opt‐in mechanism
  • Open Space 1 (initial Open Space iteration, which marks the start of the transformation process, incorporating game mechanics: goals, rules, progress scoring and opt-in)
    • 2-3-day Open Space (minimum 1 day) – opening Open Space iteration
    • Minimum of 90 days of experiments and playing with practices (Beta-Lab cocoon mode), between the scheduled Open Space iterations
    • Output is learning and some deliveries
    • Leadership Signalling with Storytelling (and other highly symbolic behaviours, respect)
  • Open Space 2 (second Open Space meeting, which terminates “Chapter 1” of the process adoption and opens “Chapter 2” of the organisational “story” of adoption) – closing Open Space iteration
  • FOLLOW UP. Closing consulting with leadership
    • Processing of Proceedings
    • Respectful Leadership Signalling with Storytelling (and other highly symbolic behaviours)
    • Coaching consultant delivers specific coaching on what to (possibly) consider next
    • Depending on circumstances, coaching consultant vacates the organisation and does not communicate with it for at least 1 month, to trigger self‐sustaining independence self-organising behaviours on the part of the organisation
  • Open Space 3 if needed (all the steps above repeated)

2. OST Phase 2:  Development and Consolidation. Minimum 1 year: recurring Open Space iterations about 6 months apart.  This is the stage of “consolidation towards competence”.

  • Evidence must be present first that the organisation has processed and completed Phase 1.
    • Several “Chapters” of learning, bound by two Open Space iterationss, may be needed for some organizations to reach this stage. Where the adoption program has been staged into more than one chapter, the subsequent chapter(s) would be introduced and implemented in the same manner as Phase 1, with two beginning/ending Open Space events
  • Repeat OST’s Open Space iterationss approximately every six months until a true learning organisation culture has been reached, with “all openness, all the time.”
  • Gradual introduction of Kaizen practices

3. OST Phase 3: Competence and Continuous Improvement – Kaizen & Innovation.  No more scheduled Open Space iterations, due to a maturing of the organisation’s ability to sense, learn and respond, so Open Space on an as needed basis. Integration of Kaizen and Innovation practices for ongoing self-organised learning

  • Evidence must be present first, that the organisation has reached Phase 2, such as:
    • The scheduled Open Space iterations become less interesting, because the organisation now has an open culture that “is” open space in spirit and content
    • The organisation can consistently demonstrate a “safe-space” open culture.
      • Substantial changes to HR policies with intent to support an OST Phase 3 culture of responsiveness and participatory improvements
      • Establishment of norms for dealing with the ongoing conflict that is a natural consequence of independent thinkers working together in a volatile, high-change business environment
  • Pan-organisational program of Kaizen (continuous improvement) and Innovation practices to ensure the organisation is performing at peak, without stagnating, will full participation of all its people
  • Further follow-up Open Space and other events in the following years as required to guarantee continued self-organised learning. Major issues arising from new working practices, including the Kaizen and Innovation programs, can then be reviewed