The October 2021 Open Organization Community Report

Editor’s Notes

The Open Organization community published three new articles and videos in October, in addition to launching a brand new series of publications, Open Perspectives. Community members have been reading, thinking, and talking about sharing economies, OSPOs with a humanitarian purpose, talent management, and bug trackers. Read the full report to learn more.

Community Publications

Monthly Highlights

  • October saw the launch of Open Perspectives, a series of short, timely, openly licensed publications featuring voices from our community of experts on open organizational culture, design, and leadership as they explore what they consider the most pertinent and pressing issues facing modern organizations. The first installment arrives courtesy of Jos Groen. Read more—and get involved—on GitHub.
  • The Open Organization community exhibited in a virtual booth at the All Things Open conference in October. Attendees could view and download community recourses. The community hopes to gather in person next year!

Key Discussions

  • Ask the Ambassadors: Community Multimedia Materials Maintainer Jen Kelchner seeks assistance with the next series of episodes in our “Ask the Ambassadors” Q&A video series. She encourages Open Organization Ambassadors to participate in a taping, and invites all community members to submit their questions.
  • Review our editorial calendar: We’re looking for new article and video ideas to carry us into 2022. Want to work on something with us? Review the board and get in touch!

Looking Ahead

  • The next Open Organization community call will occur Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 09:00 Eastern / 14:00 UTC / 15:00 CET. A meeting agenda is open, and anyone planning to participate should add items to it.
  • Open Organization Ambassadors have begun discussing 2022 strategy and planning. Ron McFarland is leading the annual exercise in revisiting our community’s mission, vision, and identity. We’ll establish plans for a workshop and circulate them soon.

Ambassador Notes

Ben Cotton

I (newly promoted to PRINCIPAL Program Manager at Red Hat!—ed.) will be presenting “Your bug tracker and you” at SeaGL, held online November 5–6.

Jos Groen

In October we published the first version of our new eBook, Opening Up to Leadership Talent. Next month, I hope to record additional audio/video content related to it. I’m also writing example case studies to include in the next version. I also plan to publish a case study of one organization’s “transformation to open.”

Ron McFarland

I have been thinking about how we can make it easier for people to understand exactly how open organizations are special. Here are some thoughts in that respect and other ideas.

  1. One-word sentence exercise: Based on my article “How to craft a one-sentence description of your organization’s purpose,” I think the Open Organization community should do this exercise. If we jointly can decide who our organization serves, we can make a very complex subject like open organizations easier to understand. I presented the idea at the last monthly community meeting and will discuss it more in the months ahead.

  2. Standardized elevator speech: Often people don’t know exactly what an open organization is and how it is different from traditional organizations and “open source” in general. Therefore, I put together an extremely short presentation (about 5 minutes) on what I think it is. I’d like to share it at one of our monthly meetings when there’s time and edit it as we like. Here again, it will help us target what we want to achieve.

  3. Ron’s reading report: I have now read the follwoing books

  1. I’ve prepared some notes on Jos’ Open Perspectives article, Opening Up to Leadership Talent and prepared quite a few comments. Outside simple typos, maybe we can organize a recorded discussion on it.

  2. Presentation for OpenOrgTV: I now have several slide presentations on previous articles articles, “The 4 components of a great decision”, “How new communication technologies are affecting peer-to-peer engagement” and “To compete or to collaborate?”/ ”What determines how collaborative you’ll be?” prepared. We could select any one of them them for a presentation recording.

Heather Leson

We explored how OSPOs and open source in humanitarian response at OSPOCon Europe. My colleague, Pete Masters of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and I shared some thoughts on lessons, modes and how to build open and open source in our humanitarian work. Here’s a video, and here are some slides.

In summary: Advocating and implementing open source products/services in humanitarian response is not new. Humanitarian organizations are still grappling on how to collaborate and build on the potential opportunities, including exploring how OPSOs might support these efforts. How can we move beyond individual products/pilots, and shift to a more coordinated approach? Linking with open source communities/partners and volunteer/technical communities (e.g. be good open citizens) must align with digital transformation considerations, humanitarian principles, core organizational strategies, while being effective in our use of open source, open data and open organization principles. In this talk, we will explore case studies (or experiences), insights, failures, lessons, methodologies, and models that might position an organization to set up an OSPO and/or prioritize for new ways of working with more open source in a digital age. We also seek the OSPO network’s input on ways forward to open up humanitarian work. (Learn more.).

Bryan Behrenshausen

With Heidi Hess von Ludewig, I developed and delivered a 20-minute “short course” on open organizations and open leadership for a Red Hat event in China, which we delivered in October and which received positive feedback. We hope to iterate on the work to create additional resources that explain the Open Leadership Definition is greater detail.


Filed October 29, 2021 by Bryan Behrenshausen

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