Harvard Business Review

Organizations with innovative IT departments value collaboration

Collaboration in business

In the open source community, we know the value of collaboration. It’s at the core of everything we do. Some of us are lucky to work for organizations that understand and embrace the power of collaboration. Yet, the silo mentality runs rampant in many organizations where collaboration and internal crowdsourcing is not valued. (Opensource.com readers who are pursuing open source projects on the side, but spend their days working at companies with silos are likely very familiar with this). » Read more

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In a tough job market, your open source experience may be an asset in more ways than one

open source work experience

Does this describe you?

You've been using open source software or contributing to open source projects for a long time. Perhaps you are in a job where you utilize open source tools regularly, or maybe you are just fooling around with them for fun or to learn new skills.

You've been known to tell (possibly true) stories that highlight how long you've been a part of the open source world (from "I remember downloading the first version of Fedora" to "I was in the room when the term open source was coined"). But, most importantly, you consider yourself an active member of one or more open source communities. » Read more

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Will IT slowly strangle corporate outposts?

While the home of most corporate parents (America) worries that IT may not be helping the business enough, the home of many subsidiaries (Ireland) worries that IT is a tool that will force the closure of corporate outposts. » Read more

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Results vs. recommendations: How an organization's expectations reveal its culture

Years back I worked as an editor for the now-defunct Red Hat Magazine. While our circulation numbers were respectable, the department head wanted to see a sizable increase. In most companies, I would have been asked to do some research and present a publishing plan or a report on how to improve the numbers. Perhaps a consultant would have assisted. The resultant ideas would have been discussed, vetted, approved, shot down, and at some point (in some form) (probably) implemented.

But at an open source company, things roll a bit differently. My team was given a simple task: Increase the number of readers. We were expected to come up with strategies to make that happen while remaining true to the editorial vision of the magazine, but the department head wasn't particularly interested in hearing about our plans. He just wanted to see the numbers. Every month.

Talk about pressure. We quickly realized that ideas and plans and reports are simple to generate; results are not. » Read more

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A radically simple idea: Make your IT change over time to fit your needs.

David Upton believes in Radically Simple IT. The basic premise, which he's laid out in a number of Harvard Business Review cases, is that IT managers should strive to put systems in place that can be continuously improved over time. By implementing an IT architecture that's as simple and modular as possible, that represents an ongoing interaction between business and IT groups, and that changes as business demands evolve, business and IT leaders can avoid being harnessed to rigid and costly systems that are outdated from the start. » 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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Recipe for a successful business: One part openness, two parts trust

There's one major advantage to openness in business. Like the Billy Joel song says, it's just a matter of trust. 

Harvard Business Review's Peter Merholz recently highlighted several successful businesses modeled on trust—and, though he doesn't note it, openness. » Read more

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Maslow's hierarchy of (community) needs

Over the past month or so, I've been having a conversation with Iain Gray, Red Hat Vice President of Customer Engagement, about the ways companies engage with communities. » Read more

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