The solution

Open Smart Transformation

The solution involves simply asking all parties concerned for their input and getting them all freely engaged in co-creating the change.  Using the efficient logistics of Open Space Technology (Open Space) we invite everyone who will be affected by the implementation or change to co-create the new approach together in a playful spirit.  Rather than impose from above, with leadership writing and telling the story, we invite everybody to write the story together, harnessing the intimate and often latent knowledge of what will work in detail and for customers.

Caterfly Copyleft licence: Inspired by the work of Daniel Mezick

Open Smart Transformation (OST) is a method (adapted from Daniel Mezick, in Open Agile Adoption) for introducing any procedural or cultural change and adoption of new systems into your organisation. It applies the power of invitation and the ability of teams to be more productive and innovative when they are actively engaged in co-creating the process. Open Smart Transformation combines the principles of Invitation, Open Space, games mechanics, storytelling, prototyping and passage rites in getting everyone fully engaged in the adoption or change process.

The central Caterfly process comprises an opening (Open Space event), a middle lasting several months (experimentation, play and storytelling) and a closing (second Open Space event).  Each Open Space event lasts 1 – 3 days and embraces as many employees as can come together at the same time and place (typically 100 – 1,000 people depending on size of organisation / department).  The clear and simple structure marked by the beginning and end, and the emphasis on manageable and incremental adjustments, iterating to what emerges, help to minimise anxiety and upheaval during the transformation.

People are remarkably good at doing what they want to do.  Joe Little

The ‘secret’ of the power of Caterfly’s OST is in the Open Space events. Crucially, OST is based on invitation not coercion. Mandates from above reduce engagement, turning change itself into a problem. Open Space is based on opt-in participation, encouraging self-organisation and increasing engagement. While the opening Open Space event invites people to co-create the change story, the closing Open Space event marks a formal end point in the chapter of learning, a review of the new reality and the beginning of a new chapter of consolidation.

Importantly our (Caterfly’s) involvement and contribution in the process is normally only in running the opening and closing Open Space events, leaving the leaders or coaches to run their existing implementation or transformation program unhindered and uninterrupted.


The above description constitutes Phase I.  This is followed by Phases II and III  –>  The Follow Up

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton

Open Smart Transformation is a derivative of Prime/OS™. Find out more about the foundations of our work, in particular the work of Daniel Mezick and Harrison Owen, here