Business

Building a positive meritocracy: It's harder than it sounds

When Michael Young coined the word in 1958, he never thought that meritocracy would be idealized 50-some year later. Young's book, The Rise of the Meritocracy, was a satirical glimpse of what the future would look like if Britain continued down the road of ranking individuals with standardized testing.

Today meritocracy is revered. Unfortunately the systems we believe to be meritocratic have precisely the same problems that Young feared—plus a few more. » Read more

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Five questions about open innovation with Stefan Lindegaard


On Wednesday, September 1, opensource.com will be hosting a webcast with Stefan Lindegaard, one of the world's leading experts on open innovation. » Read more

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McKinsey Quarterly and the open source way

Community, collaboration, and meritocracy are a few of the principles of the open source way highlighted in the most recent McKinsey Quarterly report, “Clouds, big data, and smart assets: Ten tech-enabled business trends to watch.” » Read more

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Webcast: The Open Innovation Revolution with Stefan Lindegaard

After the success of the Open Your World Forum we ran in May, we've decided to make webcasts a regular feature on opensource.com. On Wednesday, September 1, we'll host our first guest, Stefan Lindegaard. » Read more

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Does your organization need a "no policy" policy?

Daniel Pink published an interesting piece over the weekend in The Telegraph about Netflix's innovative corporate policy of not having a vacation policy. » Read more

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Navigating the murky waters of the new media: Five lessons from PepsiGate

Recently PepsiCo quietly bought the rights to blog about nutrition on a highly respected science blog network. Outraged bloggers and readers at ScienceBlogs said—well, things I can't repeat here—and dubbed the debacle PepsiGate.

As you may have guessed, the blog quickly vanished, but the resulting debate provides insight into some ethical considerations around the so-called new media: the world of online citizen-based journalism. » Read more

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How to kill a dinosaur in 3 easy steps

In 2000 the punk rock band NOFX released an album called Pump Up The Valuum. When I first heard the CD, I immediately took to the song "Dinosaurs Will Die." (Warning--contains explicit lyrics) Shortly thereafter I got into the open source movement, and I cannot count how many times the lyrics from that song have stuck out in my head. » Read more

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OpenIDEO: a new experiment in open innovation

This week, those smart folks over at IDEO launched a new project they are calling OpenIDEO. If you aren't familiar with IDEO yet, you should be—they are the poster children for design thinking specifically and 21st century innovation more generally. » Read more

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Why incentives don't work in education—or the business world

Even as the U.S. economy recovers from a financial meltdown led by a number of white-collar Wall Street swindlers, critics of the public education system push for more “business” in the classroom: specifically the implementation of incentives and the hiring of CEOs for superintendents.

There's just one little problem. According to 40 plus years of academic research, incentives—and disincentives—don't normally work. And when they do, they often don't make people behave quite like their proponents anticipate. » Read more

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Is your culture made of gold or fool's gold?

When I hear people talk about how awesome their organizational culture is, I often find myself wondering what sort of “great” culture it is.

For me, great cultures fall into two categories: entitlement and mission-driven. Those “best places to work” lists don't usually make a distinction, but I do. Here is the difference:

Entitlement cultures

The surest sign of an entitlement culture? When someone tells you why they like their work, they give you an example of a benefit not related to the work itself. Some examples:
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