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Roche: From oversight to insight

Roche: From oversight to insight

Can a company bust bureaucracy by liberating people to manage themselves? A team of managers from Roche Pharmaceuticals set out to prove this point through a management experiment—and reaped big dividends in the process. » Read more

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What's your default?

What's your default?

As dispiriting as the recent debt ceiling dysfunction drama has been, the most disturbing plot point is not that our leaders can’t seem to compromise—but that they are so compromised. While the pundits continue to parse the no-win “deal” and the bloviators bemoan the failures of leadership, the rest of us might take the opportunity to consider the benefits of being uncompromising. » Read more

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User-led innovation can't create breakthroughs. Really?

Earlier this week, Fast Company posted an article by Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen (thanks to Gunnar Hellekson for sending it my way) that may be of interest to folks seeing success with their open source and open innovation efforts.

The article is entitled "User-Led Innovation Can't Create Breakthroughs; Just Ask Apple and IKEA" and here's how it starts: » Read more

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Five questions about open source and branding with Alina Wheeler

A few years back, a good friend recommended I pick up a copy of Designing Brand Identity: an essential guide for the whole branding team by Alina Wheeler. Now in its 3rd edition, it's a beautiful book, well designed and easy to read or to use as a reference. » Read more

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Avoid the tool trap when building communities

Over the last few years, I've had the opportunity to work with many different organizations attempting to build successful communities inside and outside the open source world.

Many of them quickly fall into something I call the tool trap.

Meaning, they immediately jump into a conversation about what tool or technology they will use to support the community:

"Where are we going to put the wiki?"

"Should we build the website using Drupal?"

"What should we call the mailing list?"

"We should starting playing around with [new technology X]." » Read more

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Building a positive meritocracy: It's harder than it sounds

When Michael Young coined the word in 1958, he never thought that meritocracy would be idealized 50-some year later. Young's book, The Rise of the Meritocracy, was a satirical glimpse of what the future would look like if Britain continued down the road of ranking individuals with standardized testing.

Today meritocracy is revered. Unfortunately the systems we believe to be meritocratic have precisely the same problems that Young feared—plus a few more. » Read more

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Does your organization need a "no policy" policy?

Daniel Pink published an interesting piece over the weekend in The Telegraph about Netflix's innovative corporate policy of not having a vacation policy. » Read more

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Three tips for escaping the creativity peloton without giving up on collaboration

If you've ever watched a road bike race like the Tour de France, you know the peloton is the big group of riders that cluster together during the race to reduce drag. It's a great example of collaboration in action. But let's face it: the people in the middle of the peloton may go faster than they would otherwise, but they don't win the race.

When it comes to creating and innovating, most companies (and employees) are in the peloton. They are doing enough to survive, but they are stuck in the pack. And if they stay in the pack too long, they lose. » Read more

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What if politicians innovated the open source way?

In the discussions around some of my previous articles, I've noticed a trend: we seem to be focusing on cultural changes that need to be made for the open source way to be effective in contexts beyond technology. » Read more

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