About The Open Leadership Network

The Open Leadership Network (the OLN) is the source of continuing education and community for business leaders who want lasting success with digital and business agility transformation. The mission of the OLN is to advance real and lasting progress in the domain of business agility and organizational development.

The OLN is a membership organization. Our programs include continuing education, conference events, and local chapters.

Scaling business agility is not simple, because real success requires real employee engagement. Yet genuine success is achievable though Invitation-Based Change™ and the use of Open patterns and practices.

Scaling Business Agility with OPEN Patterns and Practices

These are the eight core patterns of Open Business Agility™. Our continuing education courses and conferences are focused on teaching and advancing these eight core patterns and practices:



Each of these eight patterns are essential to success with digital and agile transformation. Each of these eight patterns are also an entire domain of study. Our continuing education programs are designed to develop your mastery of these eight domains.

Success with enterprise-wide business agility is not simple. Yet real and lasting success here is possible, by employing Invitation-Based Change™ and the eight patterns and practices of Open Business Agility™.

Next steps:

Come to our next Open Leadership Symposium event November 18-20 in Berlin Germany.


Click here to learn more. Everyone who attends the Symposium event becomes a Member of the OLN for one year.


You can click here to investigate the benefits of becoming a Member of The Open Leadership Network.


The Open Leadership Network is the source for continuing education and community, for business leaders who want lasting success with business agility transformation. The mission of the OLN is to advance progress by advancing Invitation-Based Change™ and the eight key patterns of Open Business Agility.



The Open Leadership Symposium

The Open Leadership Network convenes important conferences. Important learning and real connection with the other participants emerge during these events.

Each Symposium event is unique, so be prepared to be surprised.

Master Classes

Master Classes of 1 or 2 days duration are typically held before and after each Symposium event. These Master Classes deepen your learning, and create the conditions for meaningful connections with other students and the Instructor.

The Master Class teachers are innovators and undisputed experts in their domain subject area. They are noted authorities and book authors who are frequently cited worldwide.

The Next Symposium Event: BERLIN GERMANY, November 18, 19 and 20, 2019

The next Open Leadership Symposium event is planned for the week of November 18, 2019 in BERLIN GERMANY. You can register and learn more here:

Learn more & REGISTER for the BERLIN Symposium event

Prior Symposium Events

May 14-15, 2019, Boston MA USA: Click here to view The Open Leadership Symposium event in Boston, May 14-15, 2019


The Open Leadership Symposium BERLIN 2019

The Berlin Symposium is a 1-day event that happens on 19.11.2019 (November 19, 2019,) with Masterclasses offered the day before, and the day after.

GET YOUR SYMPOSIUM TICKET HERE. Get the Venue & Lodging Details here

About the Open Leadership Symposium

Enterprises and organizations are under constant pressure to improve and respond to change. “Business agility” is what is required. Achieving this is difficult. But genuine business agility is possible though the use Open Business Agility patterns and practices. These Open patterns of leadership are absolutely essential to scaling agility across your enterprise. Learn more

The Symposium is a learning, networking and continuing-education event for

  • Executive Decision-Makers
  • Executive and Agile Coaches and Consultants
  • Directors and Managers
  • Teams

Those who participate in the Symposium event take away valuable learning and continuing-education resources, and they make important new connections. It is here that you will find the others. If you are seeking actionable guidance on how to improve the ability of your enterprise to respond to change, then this is your conference.

The purpose and mission of the Open Leadership Symposium is to educate, enable and support decision-makers who are responsible for enterprise-wide transformation programs. Our emphasis is on how to increase levels of employee engagement and that is what sets us apart. Employee engagement is absolutely essential to the success of your change program. Learn more

To get an idea of the tone and tempo of the event, view the pictures from the May 2019 event in Boston and/or take a look at the web pages related to the Symposium event in Boston.

The Open Leadership Symposium delivers continuing education and community around the eight Open patterns and practices of Open Business Agility:

GET YOUR SYMPOSIUM TICKET HERE. Get the Venue & Lodging Details here

Benefits of Attending the Berlin Symposium

When you attend this event, in addition to the learning and connections you make here, you also receive:

  • Tools and resources, including a print copy of the OpenSpace Agility Kompakt in the German language, and an English language PDF of THE GUIDE TO INVITING LEADERSHIP
  • A short-term 30% discount on online education that is available immediately following the conference
  • A longer-term (1 year) discount of 15% on ALL online courses of the Open Leadership Network
  • Membership in the Open Leadership Network, which includes discounts on attending future Symposium events

Each of these 4 benefits is described in detail below:

Tools and Resources You can use NOW

Everyone who attends the Symposium receives a set of valuable and essential resources. This toolkit includes:

  • A print copy of the OPENSPACE AGILITY KOMPAKT in the German language;
  • A PDF copy of THE GUIDE TO INVITING LEADERSHIP in English, and
  • The Kindle Edition of THE OPENSPACE AGILITY HANDBOOK in the English language.

Each of these tools provide actionable guidance for decision-makers who are seeking great results.

A Thirty Percent DISCOUNT on Continuing Education

Everyone who participates in the Berlin event becomes a Member of Open Leadership Network, and immediately receives the following valuable benefit:

Participants at the Berlin event receive a discount of thirty percent on the near-term online continuing education programs of the OLN. These selected online courses, available immediately after the conference, will deepen your learning in the Open Business Agility patterns, and also earn you a valuable credential. You can view the full list of OLN-certified courses here.

Membership in the Open Leadership Network:

In addition, every participant becomes a Member of the OLN for the rest of their lives. Members of the OLN receive an ongoing, lifetime 15% discount on any and all programs of continuing education from the OLN. This discount means that you always pay less than non-members for OLN certification courses. Members in good standing also get the very lowest price available to attend future Symposium events.

There are two ways to become a Member:


Participate in an OLN-certified course of education; or

Attend an Open Leadership Symposium event.


All Members of the Open Leadership Network gain access to low-cost continuing education while also earning valuable credentials. Members also enjoy great pricing on the Symposium event. At the Symposium, OLN Members build their skills, and their network, as the deepen their participation in the worldwide Open Leadership Network community.

In addition, the Symposium offers a great lineup of speakers, teachers and learning opportunities. Everything you are looking for is here.

The Schedule for the Berlin Event

Monday 11/18: All-Day Master Classes, including:

The Open Space In Organizations Master Class from book authors Marai Kiele and Mark Sheffield. Students receive a Level 1 certificate of completion (OLN-OPENSPACE1) from the Open Leadership Network.

The Acting Like An Executive Coach Master Class from Peter Fischbach and Daniel Mezick. Students receive a Level 1 certificate of completion (OLN-EXEC1) from the Open Leadership Network.

Tuesday 11/19; the big day: THE OPEN LEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUM Event

Keynote sessions on Open patterns and practices in the AM. Then lunch. Then a whole-group activity and exercise, followed by an Open Space Technology event in the afternoon that explores our Theme: DARE TO INVITE

Wednesday 11/20: All-Day Master Classes, including:

The Inviting Leadership Master Class from INVITING LEADERSHIP co-author Mark Sheffield. Students receive a Level 1 certificate of completion (OLN-INVITING1) from the Open Leadership Network.

The Clean Language for Teams Master Class, from book author Caitlin Walker . Students receive a Level 1 certificate of completion (OLN-CLEAN1) from the Open Leadership Network.

The OpenSpace Agility Master Class, from Certified OpenSpace Agility Trainer Astrid Claessen. Students receive a Level 1 certificate of completion (OLN-OSA1) from the Open Leadership Network.


Our Speakers for the November 19 2019 Open Leadership Symposium in Berlin include:


MIKE BURROWS– Author of the books Agendshift and Right to Left, Mike is the formulator of the Agendashift engagement model and a noted authority in the domain of Open patterns and practices. Examine Mikes full bio here.


Agendashift is an Engagement Model based on Open principles and focused on outcomes and desired results. Agendashift is used to engage top executives and is used before you select your framework or approach. Agendashift focuses first on what you want– that is, on your desired outcomes

In this session taken from the Discovery chapter of the Agendashift book, you’ll learn the language of outcomes. And how focus on those desired outcomes, to help make your org-change program quite literally “come alive.”

What You Will Learn

  • Celebration-5W: A way to some create some business context for your enterprise-change planning activities
  • True North: A way for diverse groups to prioritise high level obstacles to effective collaboration “across the organization and beyond”, inspired by Lean and Agile, expressed in plain language
  • How to turn those obstacles into outcomes, in your own words
  • Plan on a page: Organize those fragmentary outcomes into something coherent and compelling


CAITLIN WALKER– Noted authority on Clean Language and related protocols for fostering high-performance: in individuals, teams and organizations. Author of the book, From Contempt to Curiosity. Caitlin travels the world teaching the Clean Language protocols. Examine Caitlin’s full bio here.


Clean Language is a communication protocol based on Open principles. The basic concept is to reflect back the language of the sender, to help determine exactly what it is that the sender means to communicate. Clean Language in a highly efficient, non-intrusive, opt-in communication protocol that is designed to encourage higher functioning in individuals, groups and organizations. Clean Language is gaining influence throughout the world as an effective tool for realizing enterprise-level improvement.

What You Will Learn:

  • What is Clean Language? What is a Clean Question?
  • How can I immediately put Clean Language to work, in pursuit of higher performance in my organization?
  • How can I leverage Clean Language and Clean Questions to accelerate immediate improvement in my organization?
  • What are the key outcomes from the use of Clean?
  • What is the best way to socialize Clean Language across my organization?

NOTE: Caitlin is teaching the OLN Level 1 certification course CLEAN LANGUAGE FOR TEAMS AND ORGANIZATIONS following the Symposium, on Wednesday, November 20.

Learn More Here


DANIEL MEZICK– Author of three books on organizational change (The Culture Game, The OpenSpace Agility Handbook and Inviting Leadership) and the formulator of the Open Space Agility engagement model. Examine Daniel’s full bio here.


Engaging employees is essential to achieving rapid and lasting change. And invitations from leaders are a primary way to engage your workforce. The challenge is in how to safely and pragmatically balance the use of delegation and invitation to achieve the desired outcomes.

The successful leaders of today are finding ways to engage the entire workforce and focus the attention of the whole enterprise on higher performance. These leaders are pivoting their style from delegation to invitation. Exactly how to do that is the focus of this session. If you are responsible for delivering on business agility through an agile or digital transformation, this is a session you do not want to miss. INVITING LEADERSHIP shows you how to do more with less. 

What You Will Learn

  • Learn the fundamental concepts and facilities of leadership invitation
  • Understand the link between delegation, invitation, employee decision-making, and genuine business agility.
  • Learn when to use delegation, invitation or a mix of the two approaches
  • Know how to use leadership invitation to get exponential growth in employee engagement and results

NOTE: Co-author Mark Sheffield is teaching the Level 1 certification class in INVITING LEADERSHIP ahead of the conference, on Monday November 18.

Learn More Here


MIRIAM SASSE holds a PhD in Organizational Psychology and is the co-author of two books on organizational development and enterprise change. Her books publish in German and English. Miriam is a Certified OpenSpace Agility Trainer. She currently works as an agile coach and transformation consultant at Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA / arvato Systems. You can examine Miriam’s full bio here.

Miriam’s session: The OpenSpace Agility Engagement Model

In this session, OpenSpace Agility (OSA) is introduced.

OSA is a safe, pragmatic and repeatable  technique for getting a rapid and lasting Agile adoption. It works with the framework you are currently using, and OSA can be added at any time. OSA is being used worldwide to actively engage as many employees as possible and reduce the failure risk in your enterprise-change Agile program.

For executive leaders, OSA is a tool. It is an Employee Engagement Model, and A-B-C template, that operationalizes the core values of Lean, namely: respect for people, and continuous improvement.

For executives who are truly committed to these values, OSA represents a simple, effective and very efficient way forward.

With OpenSpace Agility, you can expect:

  • A dramatic reduction in the coaching & training costs of implementing your Agile program
  • A genuine, rapid and lasting Agile transformation
  • A dramatic increase in employee engagement scores
  • A dramatic increase in stakeholder satisfaction and potentially, genuine stakeholder delight
  • Predictable, reliable, repeatable, EVIDENCE-BASED improvement in overall results

Using the OpenSpace Agility engagement model helps your overall approach succeed. If your Agile transformation needs improvement, this is your session.



Peter is an executive coach and Scrum trainer located in Berlin, Germany. He has co-delivered Scrum education with Scrum co-creator Jeff Sutherland over 30 times across Germany and the European Union. Within the Scrum Events network, Peter is a co-chair of SCRUM DAY, Germany’s oldest and largest Scrum conference with 500+ attending each year. Scrum Events established eduScrum Germany in 2016, where Peter is an active team member. eduScrum brings the Scrum framework to schools across Germany and the European Union.

Peter worked more than ten years as a stage actor and acting teacher and coach. He has trained hundreds of actors how to discover their most vibrant personality onstage. As an executive coach specializing in Scrum, Peter now helps other coaches to develop their presence and have more impact. See Peter’s full bio here.


To counsel executives, they must first have confidence in you, and view you as a trusted adviser. Without this kind of relationship with executive leaders, all coaching is a “local optimization,” one that cannot and will not change the wider system. THIS session introduces you the essential and missing element to your coaching skills: acting like an executive coach.

To reach and connect with executives, you must be perceived as a knowledgeable, trusted adviser. Getting there is not simple, and involves study, preparation, execution and follow-through on a wide range of essential skills in verbal and non-verbal communication.

This session introduces and teaches those skills, and how to leverage these skills to reach and then teach executive decision-makers.

What You Will Learn

  • You will understand many of the most important adjustments you need to make to work at the next level in organizations
  • You’ll learn some tools and techniques for becoming perceived as a trusted adviser to highly authorized executives in organizations that are actively pursuing organizational change
  • You will have a set of books and reference links for further study of acting, acting theory, and the psychology of executive leadership & executive coaching

NOTE: Peter is teaching the 1-Day Master Class ACTING LIKE AN EXECUTIVE COACH with Daniel Mezick, the day before the conference on Monday November 18.

Learn More Here


MARAI KIELE is an expert on Open Space Technology. She has co-hosted, participated in, or facilitated over one hundred Open Space Technology events since 2003. Her professional experience with Open Space Technology spans several countries and cultures, including the USA, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and Canada. Her online Open Space events have held space for participants from over 25 countries since 2015. You can examine Marai’s full bio here.


Businesses of all kinds are coming to realize that self-management is what actually scales, and Open Space Technology is what actually delivers. Self-managed teams are essential in any organization that wants to become an Agile enterprise. Self-management across the enterprise leads to higher performance, much higher levels of employee engagement, and much more innovation.

Self-managed teams are essential in any organization that wants to become an Agile enterprise. And so the the key question becomes:

How can you as a leader quickly encourage and manifest more of the following?

  • improved results and revenues
  • lower expenses and costs
  • more employee engagement,
  • more innovation and
  • much more business Agility?

Open Space Technology is the answer to this question. Much more than a meeting format, Open Space Technology has the power to transform your entire organization.

With Open Space, you will experience:

  • A big increase in levels of employee engagement
  • Real self-management that can actually scale across your entire enterprise
  • Much more innovation — by creating the fertile conditions necessary for innovation to appear

In this session, Marai explains how to get started with Open Space in organizations.

NOTE: Marai is teaching the OLN Level 1 certification class OPEN SPACE IN ORGANIZATIONS the day after the Symposium, with Mark Sheffield, on Wednesday, November 20.

Learn More Here


MARK SHEFFIELD an Agile coach, certified trainer, and author of two books organizational change. He focuses on explaining and then implementing invitation, opt-in, and pull when coaching Agile to executives, teams and organizations. Mark has been training, coaching, and launching Agile teams since 2013 and has over 20 years’ experience developing software solutions.

In 2015 he co-authored The OpenSpace Agility Handbook, which describes an engagement model for leveraging invitation and Agile principles when implementing organizational change. See for more information.

In 2018 he co-authored Inviting Leadership, a tutorial and reference guide for making the shift from leadership delegation, to leadership invitation. See for more information.

You can examine Mark’s full bio here.

NOTE: Mark is facilitating the afternoon Open Space event of the Open Leadership Symposium. Mark is also teaching INVITING LEADERSHIP on Monday, November 18 and INVITING LEADERSHIP following the conference on Wednesday, November 20.

Learn more about the INVITING LEADERSHIP class here.

Learn more about the OPEN SPACE IN ORGANIZATIONS course here


Our Notable and Honored Symposium Guests

In addition to the amazing speakers we have engaged for the AM of the event, the Symposium features a true Open Space event in the afternoon.

At this Open Space, some very notable guests from around the world plan to be in attendance. These honored guests are listed below. Each of these individuals is an original thinker, an accomplished professional, and notable voice in the world of Open patterns and practices. 

These are some of our favorite people! We have no idea how they may choose to engage, or what they may teach. Be prepared to be surprised! To get an idea of what each Guest may add to the event, you can investigate each by using social media, and by clicking through the links they offer below.

Our Symposium Guests include:  


STUART TURNER holds all of the Scrum Alliance’s guide-level credentials including Certified Agile Leadership Educator, Certified Scrum Trainer, and Certified Enterprise Coach. Thriving workplaces are Stuart’s passion. Being much more financially successful, they will be our future. Stuart’s merely helping those who want to achieve it sooner.

Having initiated radical transformation from within two organisations and having coached and mentored people at all levels in many more, Stuart has a wealth of experience of both personal and organisational transformation. 

Over the past 20 years he has observed the patterns and trends of organisations attempts at agile/digital transformations and now devotes most of his time to educating and coaching holistic approaches to change, both at an organisation-wide level and with the complementary agile leadership skills for individuals.

Stuart is a keynote speaker, a certified coach with the International Coaching Federation, founder of the Agile Singapore Conference, and a member of

GET YOUR SYMPOSIUM TICKET HERE: Get the Venue & Lodging Details here

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM: You can learn more about the Open Leadership Symposium and view pages and pictures from the May 14-15 2019 event in Boston, by clicking here.