Over at the Management Innovation Exchange (MIX), part of my role as Community Guide is to test some innovative ways to work with MIX community members to reinvent the culture and structure of management within their organizations. We like to think of what we are doing as hacking management.
It was in this spirit that earlier this year we piloted our first ever MIX Management Hackathon. A management hackathon is a short, intense, coordinated effort to develop useful hacks (innovative ideas or solutions) that can be implemented by organizations to overcome barriers to progress and innovation. We recruited a team of 60 volunteers from around the world to join us.
Our goal with this hackathon? To deeply and quickly explore the concept of communities of passion. What are they? How do they form? What hinders their growth? And how can we overcome these barriers? By the end of the Hackathon, we hoped to develop a solid set of management hacks: “source code” that could be used by anyone interested in overcoming the barriers preventing their own organizations from becoming communities of passion.
As it turns out, our hacking went pretty well. Two of the hacks collaboratively developed by members of the MIX Hackathon team were among the 20 finalists in the recent Harvard Business Review/McKinsey Management 2.0 Challenge on the MIX (see Free to Fork by David Mason, Jonathan Opp, and Gunther Brinkman and Massive Storytelling Sessions by Alberto Blanco, Alex Perwich, Jonathan Opp, and Tony Manavalan).
But perhaps the most valuable result of our hackathon was the common understanding our team developed about communities of passion.
So we took the collaborative process a step further and wrote a report with our findings, which was just published on the MIX last night (you can read Polly LaBarre’s blog post announcing the report here).
If the subject or the process sounds interesting, you can download the report as a PDF here.
Or, if you’d like to participate in a hackathon yourself, you are in luck! We just announced a new Management 2.0 Hackathon here at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara yesterday.
Read the details and sign up here.
I want to thank the each of the members of the Communities of Passion hackathon team for their meaningful contributions. I’d also like to do a special shout out to those who took the time to collaboratively author this final report, which I believe will be a helpful resource for anyone interested in enabling communities of passion in or around their organization.
MIX Hack Report Authoring Team:
Josh Allan Dykstra
MIX Communities of Passion Hackathon Contributors:
Sinan Si Alhir
David R. Koenig
Juan (Kiko) Suarez
The first copies of The Ad-Free Brand showed up at the house on Friday afternoon. So I guess that means, after nine months of work, it is finally out. Awesome.
This book is the work of many people. It is filled with the helpful edits and brilliant suggestions of Jonathan Opp, Rebecca Fernandez, and Rick Kughen, plus the insightful contributions of Kevin Keller, Greg DeKoenigsberg, Paul Frields, and many others. It is a product of the patience and support of my wonderful girlfriend Maggie and my New Kind friends David Burney, Matt Muñoz, Tom Rabon, and Elizabeth Hipps.
There are so many people who’ve helped me out over the past year, and I owe all of them a debt of gratitude.
I thought I’d share the acknowledgments from the back of the book here in the hopes of introducing you to the work of a few of the people who helped me make this book a reality. Please take a few minutes to click through the links and get to know some of these great folks and the very cool projects they are working on. I can only hope you learn as much from them as I have.
One day last September, I received an interesting email out of the blue from someone named Lisa who had stumbled across a blog post of mine. She asked me whether I had ever lived in Indiana as a child. I was born in West Lafayette, Indiana.
As it turns out, Lisa was my neighbor and childhood best friend. I moved to Kansas City, Missouri at age 5 and had lost touch with her until I received this email, almost 35 years later.
As Lisa and I caught up, we learned we each had book publishing in the blood. Lisa is a Senior Publicist at Pearson in Indianapolis. I spent the first five years of my career as a literary agent and editor. In one email to her, I mentioned that I had been thinking of going back to my publishing roots and actually writing a book of my own. Lisa introduced me to Rick Kuhgen, an Executive Editor at Pearson. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was writing.
So I’d like to thank my childhood friend and current publicist, Lisa Jacobsen-Brown, without whom this book would probably still be something I was thinking about doing… eventually. I’d also to thank Rick Kuhgen, a true writer’s editor—responsive, thoughtful, and with a hint of poetry to his own words.
I’ve benefitted from the wisdom and friendship of many wonderful people along the journey.
Thanks first to Maggie, my source of energy. This book would have never been possible without you.
Thanks to my mother and father, who I hope see parts of themselves in me and in this book.
Thanks to my sister, Erika, who has been a great friend and confidant ever since she quit telling on me.
To Matthew Szulik, my mentor and friend, for letting the best ideas win. To Jonathan Opp for helping me find a voice. To David Burney, for opening my eyes and making me a designer. To Matt Muñoz, for always bringing optimism and passion.
To Jeff Mackanic, for your friendship and for quietly, consistently making everything happen. To Rebecca Fernandez, for bringing value before words. To DeLisa Alexander, for your faith and friendship.
To Tom Rabon and Elizabeth Hipps, for making each day at New Kind better than the last.
To all of my friends from the Red Hat nation, past and present, around the world. Special thanks to the Red Hat Brand Communications + Design team, a group of the most talented folks I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside.
To Kevin Keller, for your wise advice, guidance, and contributions.
To Michele Zanini, Polly LaBarre, Gary Hamel, and the team at the Management Innovation Exchange for introducing me to a new set of friends.
To Bob Young, Lisa Sullivan, Michael Tiemann, and Donnie Barnes, who were open when open wasn’t cool.
To Greg DeKoenigsberg, Jeremy Hogan, Chris Blizzard, Paul Frields, and Max Spevack, who know more about inspiring communities than I ever will.
To Kevin Trapani and Dan Moore, for inspiring us to consider a better way.
To Alina Wheeler and Jelly Helm, for perspective, at the right time.
To the rest of the Pearson team, especially Seth Kerney, Megan Wade, and Bill Camarda, for all of your hard work bringing this book to life.
And finally, thanks to my other friends who don’t give a crap about brands, ad-free or not. You know who you are, and I appreciate everything you do.
Polly LaBarre wrote a nice piece that was published on the Harvard Business Review blog today in which she highlighted the story that Philippe Beaudette, Eugene Eric Kim, and I wrote for the Management Innovation Exchange about the Wikimedia Foundation strategic planning project.
Basically, Eugene and Philippe organized and ran a strategic planning project that democratized what is usually a fairly aristocratic process, involving a community of 1000+ Wikimedia volunteers in helping craft strategy for the next five years.
Their story blew my mind when I first heard about it, and I hope it blows your mind too (but in a good way).
You can read Polly’s post here, then go check out the full story on the MIX.