The July 2021 Open Organization Community Report

Editor’s Notes

In July, the Open Organization community published five new resources. Work on the Open Leadership Definition is nearing an exciting conclusion (with impressive results). And community members have been thinking about doughnut economics, collaborative commons, and community codes of conduct. Read the full report to learn more.

Community Publications

Monthly Highlights

  • In light of recent leadership changes at IBM, we’ve issued an updated edition (v1.3.2) of Jim Whitehurst’s Organize for Innovation, which clarifies the author’s titles and affiliations. It’s available on GitHub (digital) and at Lulu (paperback).

Key Discussions

Looking Ahead

  • The next Open Organization community meeting will occur August 12, 2021 at 09:00 Eastern / 14:00 UTC / 15:00 CET. A tentative agenda is now online and accepting attendee input.
  • “Ask the Ambassadors,” a webseries on the recently launched OpenOrgTV, will return in the second half of 2021. Led by Jen Kelchner, Open Organization Ambassadors have gathered to record a new series of episodes responding to community questions about open organizational culture and leadership. Subscribe to OpenOrgTV to be notified when new episodes are available.

Ambassador Notes

Heather Leson

  • Laura Hilliger and I had an exchange about Open Principles in Non-Profits: Accelerating Community Response and Innovation on OpenOrgTV
  • OpenStreetMap Foundation Moderation Guidelines: After years of effort to support an open, safe, healthy and inclusive OpenStreetMap (OSM) and OSMF, the Sub-Committee on Moderation was tasked to deliver ‘etiquette’ guidance for the OSM-talk and OSMF-talk mailing lists. Discussion is open until August 18, 2021. I am part of the network trying to support the guidelines and the larger changes 1. Process for Moderation in OSM/OSMF for the English mailing lists osm-talk and osmf-talk 2. OSM diary entry with background
  • OpenStreetMap: State of the Map event (July 9 - 10, 2021). I cohosted two Global Community Coffee Chats across timezones focused on open, diversity, and inclusion. I also hosted a track of sessions (July 9th) and interviewed people working on ‘open projects’ aka OSM from Germany, Finland, Madagascar and Turkey (videos).
  • I am on the hotosm governance working group as well. We have out largest election this year and have been deep in coordination. We just announced the election.

Ron McFarland

Here are my activities and what material I have that we can use, each listed in an order the material can best be used (or if at all). They center on business strategy issues, environmental issues and leadership issues. I think we should explore the leadership related material first, to support our open organization leadership definition activities.

  1. Presentations for OpenOrgTV: To build on our Open Leadership definitions, a visual presentation and discussion might be helpful. So, I prepared a presentation on my article “What is adaptive leadership?, When organizational challenges don’t have clear and immediate solutions, open leaders need to think differently about their roles.” (05 Mar 2019). After the Leadership Definition is completed, with several attendees to ask questions and give comments, I would like to present it on our new Open Org TV. We can have a recorded discussion posted, if all are in agreement. It will support our Open Organization Leadership definition activities. Later on, I have many other presentations that can be scheduled toward the end of the year. With some small editing, six others are all pretty much ready to go.
  2. Leadership and culture: For my next article posting, I have read and written an article draft on the book Rule Makers, Rule Breakers by Michele Gelfand. When managing an Open Organization team, culture matters, and she (as a psychologist) gives strategies on how a leader can be successful. These concepts could be helpful in our studies of Open Organization Leadership definition. I have shared this draft with Bryan, and we can start editing it in the weeks ahead.
  3. Leadership and company stakeholders: I have written an article on business stakeholders and where Open Organization Principles can be used. It is based on the book Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy that Works for Progress, People and Planet by Klaus Schwab. This book discusses companies’ pressure from shareholders for profits over social, environmental and community responsibilities. We can explore when and if we should post it.
  4. Leadership and industrial disruption: I have read and written notes on the book, Clean Disruption, by Tony Seba. He believes the power generation industry and transportation business in the next decade or so will be disrupted greatly by solar and wind (renewable) electrical power generation technology. I think Open Organization Principles will play a major role, and I could write an article about it.
  5. Leadership and climate change: I have read Bill Gates’ book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. He offers countless environmental related proposals which could be ideal Open Organization projects. I have written an article on his proposals and where Open Organization Principles come into play. We can decide when and where to post it.
  6. Leadership and energy waste: I have read the book Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, by Amory Lovins. It offers many proposals on energy waste reduction to eliminate the use of and need for fossil fuels by 2050 in transportation, buildings and housing, manufacturing and energy generation itself. The book is written from a business opportunity perspective, which is different from Gates’ book (climate change perspective) or Seba’s book above (industrial disruption perspective). His proposals could start Open Organization projects to build a community to reduce energy waste. I have written notes on the book. We can explore how to use this material.
  7. Leadership and economic change: I have read Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist, by Kate Raworth. Her work is very similar to the concepts I discussed regarding sustainable economic development, but from an economist’s perspective. Also, the visuals she uses are very powerful and something we should explore in our Open Organization presentations. I’ve written notes on it, and we can explore how best to use this material.
  8. China inclusivity: Quite some time back, I read and drafted some notes on One Belt One Road, Chinese Power Meets the World, by Eych Freymann. I think Open Organization Principles (particularly inclusivity) will help bring China more into the international community to address global economic and environmental issues. We can explore when and if we can post an article on it.
  9. Product introduction and Open Organization Principles: Some time back, I read and have written notes on the book Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore. It talks about the gap between developing a product and getting it broadly sold in the market. Open Organization Principles play a role in this business journey. We could explore an article.
  10. Future Open Organization Communities: I have read the book The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin. In terms of costing, his findings are very similar to Tony Seba’s (#4 above) in that electricity marginal (variable) costs will fall to near zero in the future. If we post an article on this book, it will be mostly about Open Organization Community development, or what Rifkin calls “Collaborative Commons.” With falling energy costs, locally generated, distributed and used electricity, what he calls the “Energy Internet,”" will play an important economic role. That will lead to Open Organization Communities (also called “cooperatives” or “social commons”) that we have never seen before. In some ways, they may even replace public utilities or private corporations. I am now writing notes on this.


Filed July 30, 2021 by Bryan Behrenshausen