Business

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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Can open business practices survive an acquisition?

It ain’t easy being open in today’s corporate environment. It’s even harder for an open company to stick to its knitting when it joins forces with a much larger, much more entrenched player in its industry. Is it possible for a small company to stay true to its more 21st century values if it hopes to reach the heights of its 20th century predecessors? » Read more

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How to market your software skills

open source experience

If you ask a software developer how to make money writing code, you'll usually get employment or selling applications as your answer. It's my opinion, however, that most are missing the boat and need to think of their skills as a marketable service.

The other answers, while not wrong, have to do with point of view. » Read more

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Managing clouds and the death of formality in business

I've been toying around with a new hypothesis. Here it is:

Formality in business is dying.

Now I am not talking about Blue Jeans Friday and Bring Your Pet to Work Day all of the sudden cropping up everywhere. I've seen very formally-run businesses where people showed up in jeans with their dogs or whatever. So much superficial informality.

What I'm talking about is a fundamental shift of business culture and management practices from formal to informal in many innovative companies. What do I mean? Let's take a step back. » Read more

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Fear of failure? Embrace it by failing fast.

This is the third in a series exploring the things I have learned from the open source way during my journey with Red Hat.

One of the key tenets of the open source way is “release early, release often.” This means rather than keeping an idea or project "secret" until it is perfect, you go ahead and share it or make it available to others. You get it out there, let people play around with it, test it, expose its weaknesses, you allow peer review. » Read more

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MIX: Gary Hamel's experiment in reinventing management the open source way

Of all of the people talking or writing about the future of business right now, no one has more street cred than Gary Hamel. » Read more

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Fortune cookie says: To succeed, you must share.

The last time you ate Chinese food, you probably weren't thinking about open source development. But according to Jennifer 8. Lee, author of “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles,” the food on your plate arrived there in precisely that way.

General Tso's chicken? Unrecognizable to its creator, let alone the General's relatives. Swap out the butter and vanilla for sesame and miso in that most famous of Chinese desserts, the fortune cookie, and you have something that closely resembles tsujiura senbei, a Japanese fortune cracker. Americans will be sad to learn that much of the rest of the world—including China—is rather unfamiliar with this delicacy. » Read more

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LeBron James: A management innovator?

LeBron James is an amazing basketball player. But is he also a management innovator? I couldn’t help but ask myself that question as I watched the news reports last week that three of the biggest professional basketball stars have chosen to play together in Miami. Early reports indicate that each of the players will take a pay cut in order to play together.
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Participating in a gift economy: Are you giving enough?

Open source communities are often compared to gift economies. You participate. You solve shared problems. Others do the same.

In many ways, you give to get. » Read more

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Do you aspire to build a brand community or a community brand?

In my day job at New Kind, I spend quite a bit of my time working on brand-related assignments, particularly for organizations interested in community-based approaches to building their brands. » Read more

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