trust - Page number 2

The hole in the soul of business

I’m a big fan of New Yorker cartoons. There’s usually at least one in every issue that provokes a wry smile or a wince of self-recognition. While I’ve never actually participated in the magazine’s weekly caption competition, I occasionally gin up a prospective entry. Last week, the contest featured a drawing of a couple sitting in a living room. The husband (perhaps?) was perusing a newspaper on the sofa while his wife lounged in a nearby armchair. She was a mermaid—naked from the waist up, her large flipper resting demurely on the floor. With her head angled towards her companion and her mouth open in mid-sentence, I imagined her to be saying: “After ten years, I think you could have learned to scuba dive,” or “Hiking in the Alps again? I thought we could take a beach holiday this year.”

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A better way to win: Profiting from purpose

"I would not give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity." —Oliver Wendell Holmes

When it comes to managing their costs, most companies operate with a simple model. They start by trying to maximize their gross margins so that they have a high cushion for spending in areas where they feel they need to spend heavily in order to compete, such as advertising and promotions. But a growing number of high-performing companies are showing that there is a better way to manage spending and improve performance. These companies live and operate on the other side of complexity.

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Open source is for lovers

It's true. If you think about the characteristics of open source and the qualities of a successful relationship, you will find a lot of overlap.

OPEN: You have to be open and flexible to make a relationship work. Going back to my favorite analogy in regards to open source software and proprietary software--proprietary software is like buying a car with the hood welded shut. Oh, you need to change to oil? Too bad. Buy a new car. If we aren't flexible and open to change--if our hoods are welded shut--it makes it extremely difficult to keep the (love) engine running.
» Read more

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Your open source management approach: Red Team or Blue Team?

When I hear people in the technology industry talk about the benefits of open source software, one of things they mention often is their belief that open source software “gets better faster” than traditional software (David Wheeler has done a nice job collecting many of the proof points around the benefits of open source software here). » Read more

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Leadership as trusteeship

Trust is an essential human attribute and virtue. When we are born, we are completely helpless and at the mercy of others. We instinctively trust that someone will look after us, nurture us, protect us. Being trusting and being trustworthy are central tenets of what it means to be a human being.

Yet, there is a huge trust deficit in our society today. There is a crisis of trust in government, in religious institutions, in our educational system, in the health-care system and in the financial system. There is deep distrust within the public at large towards the corporate world in general and towards most companies and their leaders. Within companies, there is a great deal of mutual distrust among employees, and among employees and customers, suppliers and leaders.

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Creating the high-trust organization

American society appears to be undergoing a crisis in trust. Most of the major organizations that we depend upon, including governments of all types, corporations, our health care system, our financial institutions, and our schools all seem to be failing us. Indeed, I do not believe it is an exaggeration to claim that our society is actually undergoing a disintegration process whereby the fundamental premises and values supporting our institutions are all being called into question. While such disintegration is of course very painful to experience, it is also a tremendous opportunity for genuine transformation. My essay will attempt to outline some of the most important values and strategies necessary for the creation of, and the transformation to, high trust organizations.

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To tweet or not to tweet: How companies are reining in social media

Social media like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn enable ordinary people to do international live broadcasting. It's little wonder companies worry about the potential damage to their brand or reputation from wayward tweeting employees, and I am told many a celebrity's agent has considered adding a “no drinking and tweeting” clause to his contract. Here's a look at how some companies are writing (and rewriting) their social media policies to deal with the risks they face. » Read more

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Imperious Institutions, Impotent Individuals

I live a half mile from the San Andreas fault—a fact that bubbles up into my consciousness every time some other part of the world experiences an earthquake. I sometimes wonder whether this subterranean sense of impending disaster is at least partly responsible for Silicon Valley’s feverish, get-it-done-yesterday work norms. Build your company quick ’cause tomorrow we might get flattened.

Like many sorts of change, major tectonic events happen very slowly and then all of a sudden. The earth’s wandering plates are held in check by friction for decades or centuries, and then one day the forces of change finally break through to the surface and the planet erupts. » Read more

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BetterMeans: a new app for running your organization the open source way

Last week I received a heads up about a new web application launching today from a company called BetterMeans with an impressive goal: to build the infrastructure (processes, technology, governance, etc.) to make an open organizational structure like we talk about here on opensouce.com a reality.

From their website:

BetterMeans.com is a web platform where people can start and run companies in a new decentralized way.

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You're making decisions by consensus, but are you collaborating?

Recently I came across an article by Roy Luebke at Blogging Innovation that asked the rather interesting question, “Is Management by Consensus Killing Innovation?” While I've (thankfully!) never had a manager whose decision-making was contingent upon the agreement of a team, I have spoken with many people who confuse the concept of collaboration with consensus.

Collaboration does not require consensus. Collaboration means working together toward solutions, pooling talents and ideas, and recognizing both successes as a team and the specific contributions of members. Consensus is a team's unanimous agreement on a decision. I am prepared to argue that when consensus is consistently and quickly reached, collaboration may not be happening at all. » Read more

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