It's time to reinvent management. You can help.

Management 2.0 Hackathon: Innovative mini hacks from our contributors

by Chris Grams on February 23, 2012


chris-grams's picture

Management 2.0 Hackathon: Innovative mini hacks from our contributors

As I mentioned in my previous post, over the past few months, more than 600 members of the MIX community from around the world have participated in the Management 2.0 Hackathon.

The hackathon is a hands-on, collaborative effort focused on generating fresh and practical answers to one of today's critical challenges: creating organizations that are fit for the 21st century. Our work is deeply inspired by the Web—one of the most adaptable, innovative, and inspiring things humans have ever created.

In our latest hackathon sprint, which ended a few days ago, the group generated more than 65 "mini hacks." A mini hack is essentially the beginnings of a hack like those that you see here on the MIX. Our goal for this sprint was to generate as many innovative hack ideas as we could quickly. Then we'd each review the full list of contributions and choose which of them we wanted to collaboratively develop into full, "shovel-ready" hacks that could be added to the MIX and eventually implemented within real organizations (if you'd like to learn more about what makes a great management hack, consider reading Polly LaBarre's post on the subject here).

This is a perfect moment to dive into the hackathon if you haven't participated thus far. So I thought I'd share some of the most powerful mini-hacks from our contributors here. If these descriptions inspire you, click on the links below, join the hackathon, and help us develop these hacks. We'd love to have you on the team!


In the openness category, one of most compelling mini hacks is Alberto Blanco's Open Up Clip By Clip. Alberto suggests that the path to full openness could begin small, by opening up processes as mundane as buying office supplies. Later, once you've seen success opening up the routine stuff, you can tackle the bigger, scarier projects. Starting by making small, practical changes is a key concept behind many of the most successful management hacks I've seen.

Another simple and very popular idea is Vlatka Hlupic's Using transparent "points system" for reward management in which she suggests developing a points system wherein associates earn points that translate directly into bonuses, equity, and overall success/performance measurements. As Stephen Danelutti points out in the comments, this "gamification" is in line with many current trends.


In the collaboration group, Dina Grasko suggested the idea of Anonymous options for collaboration, where junior employees who don't feel comfortable sharing ideas that might contradict their seniors can safely work and innovate anonymously. While I see the allure and potential of the freedom to collaborate anonymously, I've also seen that anonymity often leads to a lack of accountability, so it will be interesting to see how this group tackles that challenge.

David Mason's mini hack Collaborate. Agitate. & Converge suggests a radical new (and potentially more disruptive) process for collaboration that might result in even more innovation. David is no stranger to radical collaboration experiments—he's spent a good part of his career working in the open source world, first at Red Hat and now at Mozilla, so this group will likely be testing some new and innovative waters.


In the Trust group, Vegard Iglebaek slipped in a last-minute mini hack called Facilitate peer feedback that could significantly increase trust inside an organization. The next step will be to develop this mini hack into a full set of procedures or recommendations that an organization could implement to make peer feedback part of the cultural DNA.

Santa Clara Unviersity professor Terri Griffith's contribution Two Birds with One Team Activity: Trust & Transactive Memory could yield a very compelling hack. There is a lot of potential to develop an innovative framework for high-trust working relationships using the concepts she describes.


Ben Willis, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Saba, suggested a mini hack entitled Build a "Skills 2.0" Competency Model in which an organization could build a laundry list of ideal Management 2.0 skills and competencies that could be used as a benchmark for beginning organizational change. I'm sure there are many traditional organizations that would LOVE to get their hands on this kind of model, so the team that develops this mini hack might have some willing test subjects right away.

Sam Folk-Williams suggested a mini hack entitled Create a meaningful, public feedback mechanism. He tells the story of memo-list at Red Hat (which was featured previously on the MIX here), an open feedback channel where any employee can voice their opinion on company decisions. What would a hack look like that set the ground rules for how other companies would design and implement such a feedback mechanism? Well, this hacking team is going to show us.


Susanne Ramharter's Autonomy (Reality) Check mini hack could result in meaningful and empowering conversations between employees and managers that uncover each side's perceptions of where autonomy is high or low and then provide a safe environment for conversations about it.

Deborah Mills-Scofield's Embracing Autonomy: Small Bets shares the strengths of Alberto Blanco's Open Up Clip By Clip mini hack in the openness group—it creates a low-risk entry point for exploring and experimenting with increased autonomy, even in traditional organizations.

Experimentation & Serendipity

The MIX's Michele Zanini suggested a mini hack entitled Bureaucracy-free zones, an attempt to take the Special Economic Zones concept that has been used to spur development on a country scale and apply it instead to eliminating bureaucracy in organizations. Cool! Some of the most innovative hacks come when concepts with proven success in one field are applied to another.

Another interesting contribution from this group is Angela Hey's Enable diverse experimentation teams mini hack, which suggests that there might be ways to hack the process of building teams to increase the odds of serendipitous interactions by putting people with diverse viewpoints and experiences together.

FInally, Todd Fitch suggested a mini hack he entitled Reverse Budget for Experimentation which would stack the deck in favor of experimentation by rewarding the teams within an organization that take experimentation seriously while the groups that don't bear the budget burden. Brilliant!

Do any of these hacks sound interesting to you? Want to join the Management 2.0 Hackathon?

Go here to sign up and start hacking now >>

Author's Note: In this post, there are links that take you to a login in page for the Management 2.0 Hackathon. If you don't yet have an account, please consider creating one—it only takes a minute, and you'll not only be able to access the links and information mentioned above, but you can also begin participating in the Management 2.0 Hackathon yourself. It's open to anyone, and we'd love to have you join us!

You need to register in order to submit a comment.