Celebrating six months of The Open Organization

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Birthdays mark time. They ask us to look back—at our accomplishments and stumbles, our histories and their invaluable lessons. They also encourage us to look forward—to our dreams and goals, our futures and the promise they hold.

In open source communities, birthdays are no different. When like-minded people gather with common purpose and passion, they form groups with identities and stories all their own. So when they celebrate their birthdays, they reinforce the ties that drew them together and renew their commitments for the coming year.

This week, we celebrate our community's half-birthday. The Open Organization launched June 2, and the discussion it sparked—about the ways open source principles are changing the ways we work, manage, and lead—has only intensified. Since then, we've read and pondered, chatted, then read some more, all in an effort to better understand the tectonic shifts in organizational life taking place all around us.

Unwilling to let a milestone go unnoticed, readers, thinkers, and ambassadors sent the following reflections and well-wishes for this special occasion. They look back on six months of engagement and learning—and forward to a conversation that continues.

Jono Bacon, GitHub

My experience participating in the community discussions that relate to The Open Organization have exhibited the very principles of open source itself. I joined the discussions with some ideas and some questions, and the discussion, engagement, and relationships I have formed have helped to evolve my thinking, grow my skills, and develop new friendships and relationships. So, as we celebrate our birthday, we also celebrate the spirit of openness and collaboration at the heart of the book and the conversations it inspired.

Rebecca Fernandez, Red Hat

I'm excited to see new articles publish and stories emerge about how people bring to life the principles Jim describes in The Open Organization. It feels like we are writing the sequel together, as an Opensource.com community.

Robin Muilwijk, eZ Systems

As a contributor to the Opensource.com moderator program, I was also invited to join the team of Open Organization ambassadors. I am honoured to take part in this program, as it has enriched my experience in the open source ecosystem even further. I now use lessons I've learned from the book, the Twitter chats, and the many great articles in my role as community manager at eZ Systems on a daily basis. Happy six month birthday to The Open Organization! I hope readers get to learn as much as I have about the open organization.

Laura Hilliger, Greenpeace International

I've paid a great deal of attention to the leadership traits open principles encourage, so when the Open Organization came out, and a collective of true believers started having a conversation about the way open principles positively affect internal cultures, I felt right at home. The underlying behaviors of leadership in an open organization are starting to become the topic of conversation in many traditional organizations, and The Open Organization serves as a guidebook. I encourage organizations looking to empower and motivate their staff to read it, think about the open principles it explains, and reach out to experience what transparency, participation and community at a global scale can look like.

Jason Hibbets, Red Hat

About this time last year, someone approached me and asked if I'd help build community around The Open Organization. I jumped at the opportunity. Then I thought: How do you build community around the ideas and concepts in a book?

Six months after the book's release, I'm proud to say we're starting to learn the answer. We're off to a great start, having published nearly 100 articles on a variety of topics exploring ideas from the book. And we're lucky to have amazing ambassadors helping us capture and tell even more stories about the ways open source principles are changing organizations today.

Reflecting on the last few months, I'd say two things really stand out to me. First, we're actually talking more about leadership and defining what an open-leadership style can be. Second, we're proving that being an open organization is more about changing culture—and large, entrenched organizations are genuinely curious about how to adapt to this way of thinking for their own contexts. I can't wait to keep exploring with everyone.

Bryan Behrenshausen
Bryan formerly managed the Open Organization section of Opensource.com, which features stories about the ways open values and principles are changing how we think about organizational culture and design. He's worked on Opensource.com since 2011. Find him online as semioticrobotic.


Happy halfiverssary! Er.. Halfy Birthday to You?

Looking forward to studying this book with folks in my company :)

Awesome! You can use our free discussion guides to get things started, if you'd like. And don't forget to come back and let us know how it's going!

In reply to by heather

A very merry unbirthday to you to me! Happy to see the community rallying around the idea that "open" is a way of being, not just a way of writing software. Congrats to the Open Organization and Opensource.com community!

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