Business

Comparing leadership cultures and creating change

Yesterday I attended a panel on cultural leadership at the Coach K Leadership Conference at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. The panel featured our own Senior VP of People and Brand at Red Hat, DeLisa Alexander, and Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North America.

The topic of the panel was "Cultural Leadership: Forging a Shared Kernel While Preserving Individual Differences." In other words, how can leaders inspire today’s workforces across geographical and cultural boundaries and through times of uncertainty. » Read more

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Marketing an open source business

When it comes to running an open source business, the question I’m asked second most often is "How do you market your services?" (The first is "How do you make money selling free software?") I wish I had a concise, step-by-step answer, but I don’t. The best I can do is to relate some of my experiences.
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A radically simple idea: Make your IT change over time to fit your needs.

David Upton believes in Radically Simple IT. The basic premise, which he's laid out in a number of Harvard Business Review cases, is that IT managers should strive to put systems in place that can be continuously improved over time. By implementing an IT architecture that's as simple and modular as possible, that represents an ongoing interaction between business and IT groups, and that changes as business demands evolve, business and IT leaders can avoid being harnessed to rigid and costly systems that are outdated from the start. » Read more

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Empowering Natural Leaders in 'Facebook Generation' Ways

In the years ahead, any leader who hopes to have followers will need to carefully examine the foundations of their own authority. Why? Because we live in a world where the effectiveness of positional power is rapidly diminishing—at least outside of prisons and elementary schools.

Thanks to Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, FEMA, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Fannie Mae, et al, the generation now joining the workforce has » Read more

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Poll: Giving credit where credit is due

» After you vote, discuss this topic in-depth on the article, Can hierarchy and sharing co-exist, or in the comments below.

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Recap: Open Your World webcast with Joseph Reagle, author of Good Faith Collaboration

What differentiates Wikipedia from other reference books where you have no idea of the process that went into them is that the Wikipedia encyclopedia is an artifact of an active community. A large one, in fact, with about 41,000 contributors editing five or more times a month and 1,000 active administrators. The "Wiki" part has its origins with Ward Cunningham, who saw it on the "Wiki Wiki Shuttle Bus" at the Honolulu airport. » Read more

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Apple, Google, and the open vs. closed positioning war

Over the last few months, the battle to define the meaning of the word "open" has intensified into one of the more interesting brand positioning exercises I've seen in the technology industry (if you aren't familiar with brand positioning and would like to learn more, consider starting here).

I thought I'd do a quick report from the front lines, diving in specifically to examine the battle for smartphone leadership, and looking at things from a brand positioning strategy perspective. » Read more

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Profitable digital content: It's all about the value

Last weekend, I rented a movie through YouTube.

In the interest of full disclosure, I suppose I should tell you straight away that I don't own a television. I sold mine seven years ago, after the year 2003 saw the debut of Nashville Star, The O.C., Fame, and some train-wreck reality show starring Jessica Simpson and her then-husband Nick Lachey.

These days, my knowledge of television programming comes from disparate half-hours spent on the treadmill at the gym. I catch bits and pieces of shows like Law & Order, Hannah Montana, The Dr. Oz Show, One Tree Hill, The Doctors, and The Dr. Phil Show. (Who hired all the doctors, and am I the only one who wonders how many drinks the talent scout had when he signed Miley Cyrus?)
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Poll: Guess how many people contribute to Wikipedia

Find out the answer on Thursday, October 21 at 1:00pm (EDT) at the Open Your World webcast on "Good Faith Collaboration at Wikipedia" featuring Joseph Reagle. Register now, seating is limited.

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A community-building perspective on the Gap logo controversy

Over the last week, a handful of folks have reached out and asked me what I think about the events surrounding the launch, then crowdsourcing, then full repeal of the new Gap logo (if you haven't already heard the story, catch up here). » Read more

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