The May 2020 Open Organization Community Report

Editor’s Notes

The Open Organization project continued its exciting evolution in May, as the community updated its governance documentation, transitioned to new homes on GitHub and Twitter—and, of course, published new materials. We also began development of a new resource, something we’re calling (tentatively, at least) a Guide to Distributed Teamwork.

Read our full report for all the details!

Community Publications

The Open Organization community published the following materials:

Monthly Highlights

  • The Open Organization community has undertaken a new project: a new collection of resources tentatively titled The Open Organization Guide to Distributed Teamwork. The guide aims to assist those working on remote, distributed teams—perhaps for the first time—by explaining how open principles and practices can create more dynamic, inclusive, and empowered teams (no matter where their members happen to reside!). Work is occurring on GitHub and submissions are welcome.

  • Open Organization Ambassador @HeidiHVL has launched a new multimedia series on “Managing with Open Values.” The series features interviews with organizational leaders explaining their views on “open management” in their respective industries. The first instalment features an interview with organizational psychology expert Tracy Giuliani.

  • The Open Organization project has a new home on GitHub: The new URL is more concise, memorable, and representative of the project’s scope. Please update your bookmarks and toolchains!

  • The Open Organization project has a new handle on Twitter: @OpenOrgProject. The new handle underscores the community’s evolution as it plans to mark its fifth anniversary.

  • The Open Organization project has updated its principal governance documentation. A new team charter more cogently articulates the community’s mission and vision. And a new “Community Roles” document explains various ways contributors can participate in (and grow their influence in!) the community.

  • Open Organization Ambassadors have begun experimenting with holding monthly “office hours,” unstructured opportunities to gather informally to discuss ongoing projects, gather advice, seek inspiration, and share some laughs. Ambassador @HeidiHVL hosted the first office hours session in May. We’ll be announcing additional meetings monthly. Ambassadors volunteering to host choose the date and time(zone)!

Looking Ahead

  • The next Open Organization Ambassadors meeting will occur June 11, 2020 at 09:00 Eastern / 14:00 UTC / 15:00 CET. Guest presenter Shauna Yohemas will explain her recently completed Masters fieldwork with a Canadian architectural firm, which plans to adopt an open organizational model as it grows. Shauna will join the ambassadors to describe her research, explain her findings, and open a dialogue with the community as she embarks on her mission to help an organization transform.

  • The Open Organization project’s new logo and brand are taking shape! The community will meet June 05, 2020, to review design iterations from Red Hat’s Open Studio. All ambassadors are invited to attend. Let @Bryan know if you haven’t received your invitation. The new logo and brand will debut in June.

Open Organization Ambassador Notes

  • Heather Leson writes: “I’ve been exploring on how to help a humanitarian organization collaborate openly. We’ve hosted many online sessions convening over 2000 people from across the world. I’ve written about it. We also ran a cartoonathon. Infusing open principles in an organization takes deep work.”

  • Ron McFarland writes: “I’m working on an article on building alliances to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Open principles will speed up this process.”

  • Ben Owens writes: “I’ve recently helped get a new, grassroots campaign off the ground. It’s called #JustAskUs and seeks to gather input from students and parents from around the U.S. (and then scale to other parts of the world) to address some of the inequities and flaws in our education systems that the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted like nothing before. This is (admittedly) an ambitious campaign that—no surprise—is based on a framework of transparency, community, inclusivity, etc. It is a coalition of small and large organizations that already work in our target communities and aims to recenter educational power so that school transformation is done with students, parents, and members of our minority communities instead of ‘on behalf of them,’ as has been claimed in the past.”


Filed May 29, 2020 by Bryan Behrenshausen