Business

New report: Communities of passion

New report: Communities of passion

There are innovative organizations that most of us find inspiring because on the inside, they're essentially passionate communities. But what do companies like Google, Red Hat, IDEO, Apple, 3M, and W.L. Gore have in common? And what defines a community of passion, anyway?

Over the past few months, I've been engaged in a Management Hackathon with a few folks you might recognize from opensource.com and some other members of the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX), an online community started by Gary Hamel. » Read more

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The importance of Wikipedia

The importance of Wikipedia

Mirror mirror on the wall, what's the most important open source project of them all? » Read more

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The Creative Discipline

The Creative Discipline

Creativity is less an art than a discipline--and surprisingly practical and accessible

If you think creativity is the province of a privileged few--the proverbial black turtleneck and pony tail crowd--think again. Our work with hundreds of teams, from CEOs to customer service reps, has convinced us that a few relatively simple techniques can help anyone generate new and creative ideas.

The key is to focus on perception. Neuroscientists tell us that as our brains evolved, they learned to take perceptual shortcuts to save energy. In other words, they stuff experiences into well-worn patterns. But when we bombard our brains with new information, our brains are forced to re-categorize these new experiences and move beyond old patterns. That's when we come up with new ideas.  » Read more

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What's your question?

What's your question?

Some fifteen years ago, in the early days of starting up Fast Company magazine, co-founder Alan Webber, shared one of his rules of thumb with me: "a good question beats a good answer." That pithy wisdom sunk in and took hold immediately. In the course of hundreds of reporting journeys and thousands of conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, thinkers, and doers of all stripes, I've tuned into the questions people ask.

The first thing you notice when you have your ears pricked for questions is that most people (especially businesspeople) are more interested in presenting solutions, making assertions, and sharing their vision. This isn't surprising. School programs us to focus on producing the right answer and the job description of the leader for the last century has basically been "the person with all the answers." » Read more

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Open business news roundup: Interesting articles and blogs

Open business news roundup: Interesting articles and blogs

This month, stories about people doing business the open source way have popped up in some surprising places. From an Israeli food manufacturer to the Wall St. Journal, here are some interesting news articles and blog posts on sharing, collaboration, hacking, and transparency I've read this month. » Read more

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A focus on the stuff that matters most

A focus on the stuff that matters most

This post originally appeared in Tim O'Reilly's Google+ feed and on O'Reilly Radar.

This tweet by Steve Case (@stevecase) struck home for me, because in the aftermath of Steve Jobs' death I've been thinking a lot about O'Reilly, wanting to make sure that we streamline and focus on the stuff that matters most. » Read more

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Encouraging organizations to change: The influence model

Encouraging organizations to change: The influence model

Scott Keller contributed to this article.

You know your organization needs to change. You've developed a strategic view about where you need to go and you've matched that up with an understanding of the changes that will require in your culture. You've thought very hard about organizational mindsets and personal behaviors that will need to shift to get there. Now, you actually have to do something to shift them. » Read more

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Four ways open source principles can improve your business

Four ways open source principles can improve your business

More than ever, companies are embracing the principles of open source to make major improvements, both internally and externally. Openness, transparency, democratization, and collaboration can be used to make your business a better place to work and create a better culture. » Read more

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Open for Business: Employees with benefits

Open for Business: Employees with benefits

Paul Graham coined the term 'ramen profitable' to describe the sort of start-up companies that can quickly reach profitability because they have low overhead and few expenses. I think of OpenNMS as 'sushi profitable'--that is, profitable enough to provide a few of the finer things in life. Like employee benefits. » Read more

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Marketing openness: Does sharing have a stigma?

Marketing openness: Does sharing have a stigma?
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