The law of mobility is one of the essentials in meetings when using Open Space Technology. But how can things work when everybody does what they choose to? We are so used to command and control, so often it is initially frightening.
The law actually implies that it is an open invitation to join the event. If it’s not, the possibility is that everyone leaves after having been introduced to the law in the introduction to the meeting. Of course, if you were forced to come to a meeting and then discover you can use the law to leave and do something more useful, you might.
Having an open invitation clarifies the need to be clear about purpose and when purpose is clear in the invitation “the right people” will show up and they will always do productive work together in the Open Space structure.
During the meeting, the law means that everybody is responsible for where they put their energy and how they spend their time. If you can neither learn nor contribute in a group, move somewhere else to do something useful. And if you choose to stay when it is not working well for you, you have exactly one person to blame for it, and that’s you.
Using the law does not mean letting go of responsibility, it means the opposite. If I am in such a situation I can choose to raise awareness in the group about how I feel to see if the group is interested to change behavior/topic/move or whatever is “your problem”. Or I may choose to check out mentally to think about something else. Or I may move to a different physical space/maybe another break out group to explore other opportunities.
And those of us remaining in the group may choose to put energy into thinking about why I left (could be a million reasons), or respect my choice and go on with whatever activity they were doing.
There is much more to be said about the law of mobility! What is your experience? How did you initially react when introduced to it? How did it work for you?
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