Creating a handbook for achieving openness at scale

We're launching a community book project aimed at collecting the best case studies and exercises that illustrate openness in action.
391 readers like this
391 readers like this
Introduction to the Domain Name System (DNS)

Jason Baker. CC BY-SA 4.0. Source: Cloud, Globe. Both CC0.

"Yeah, but how do you actually do that?"

It's the most common question our community fields, both on Opensource.com and at innumerable conferences and workshops. People tend to understand why practicing openness in the workplace leads to greater agility, better innovation, and increased engagment—they just need to know how to achieve it all.

So we're writing a book to explain. And you can help.

We've nicknamed it The Open Organization Workbook, a working title that gestures to the new volume's utility as a handbook for achieving openness at scale, no matter the organizational size or mission. This sixth installment in the Open Organization book series will collect practical, actionable wisdom from change agents all over the world—people dedicated to helping individuals, teams, and entire organizations effectively harness the power of open thinking. It'll be our most ambitous book yet.

It'll also be one of our most important. As Jim Whitehurst observed more than a year ago, understanding the "how" of the open organization—"the concrete and specific activities that occur when leaders-as-catalysts and associates-as-engaged-participants meet"—continues to be our community's most presing challenge. For Jim, that's what "continues to prove most mysterious and elusive to organizations today":

How specifically can we develop tactics to harness and direct passion and performance? How can we systematize our most successful structures? And how do we share our best practices and our failures?

How?

We'll answer that question the open source way: By launching a community book project aimed at collecting the best case studies and exercises that illustrate openness in action.

Want to help? Just read the instructions on GitHub, look over the table of contents, and submit a pitch by August 25.

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.

2 Comments

I think this is a good idea. Much of the advice one finds seems to involve the kinds of things you need to have rolling around in your head. Another issue is the lack of consideration of different opinions of those who are to enact open principles. What does this look like in real world situations? It's also useful to include frank descriptions of failed initiatives as well as successes.

We agree, Greg, especially with that last part: "It's also useful to include frank descriptions of failed initiatives as well as successes." If you have (or know someone who has) a story to share, don't hesitate to get in touch!

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