-- A few weeks ago, we kicked off the Hackathon Pilot, an experiment enabling passionate MIXers to collaboratively "write the chapter" on how to enable communities of passion within our organizations (learn more about the pilot here and here ). This is the second post in a series where pilot members have synthesized some of our learnings from Sprint #1. Today's synthesis post comes from EMC's Steve Todd . --
The Global Weave by Steve Todd
When Chris Grams sounded the call for Sprint #1 in our MIX community, he asked us to share some of our favorite communities of passion (whether we belonged to them or not).
-- A few weeks ago, we kicked off the Hackathon Pilot, an experiment enabling passionate MIXers to collaboratively "write the chapter" on how to enable communities of passion within our organizations (learn more about the pilot here and here ). We just finished our first sprint this past weekend and are off to a great start. But don't take my word for it. Over the next week or so, I'll be sharing the ideas of some pilot contributors from across the globe who volunteered to synthesize the large number of contributions we collected into some overarching themes. Today, our first synthesis post comes from Sam Folk-Williams. --
The Characteristics of Successful Communities of Passion by Sam Folk-Williams
We had two simple tasks for our first Hackathon Pilot sprint: list five communities of passion that you think are successful and why, and list five communities of passion to which you personally belong. Through these examples, we can all deepen our understanding of what a "community of passion" is, how they come into being, what makes them work (or not work), and ultimately how we can leverage them as...
The tragedy in Japan has impacted all of us--and serves as a painful reminder of many earlier (and still unresolved) tragedies in Haiti, Chile, Katrina, New Zealand, and around the world. These disasters command the headlines, tap in to our sense of civic responsibility, and summon us to help our neighbors in need.
When I began my role as a Moonshot Guide, my attention was focused on how to bring play, fun, and laughter to the workplace. "Take the Work out of Work" meant making work feel more like play and exploring how to "gamify" work. But these last few weeks have provided a great education...
As I mentioned in a previous update , we are using a process inspired by design thinking for the Hackathon Pilot. Some of you will already be familiar with design thinking principles, but just in case the concept is new to you, I thought I’d write a short design thinking primer.
What is design thinking?
Design thinking is a process by which groups can collaboratively solve problems or explore opportunities by building ideas up instead of tearing them apart.
Because of its “building up” approach, design thinking is quite distinct from the analytical problem-solving process used regularly in the business world. Typically, analytical thinking attempts to break something down into its component parts in order to study it.
Design thinking is a great tool for community-based projects like the MIX because it is optimized for collaboration and inclusiveness. Because the process celebrates all ideas and contributions and allows for the best solutions to come from everywhere and anywhere, it is great way to generate fresh ideas from diverse groups of people. In my experience, design thinking is a wonderful way to engage people in a positive way, and it helps build relationships that...
Since I suspect many of you won’t have a whole day to spare reading almost 100 Human Capital M-Prize entries , I’ve put together something of a highlight reel for you. My hope is that this will save you some time while also uncovering some possible hack zones for further study during the Hackathon Pilot.
My process? Basically, I tagged all of the entries as I read them with key thoughts and ideas, and when finished, I tried to synthesize these thoughts and ideas into some overarching themes. If you have the time and would like to read the entries yourself to see if you notice similar themes or discover your own, I’d encourage you to test my analysis and share the results with the pilot team.
But if your time is limited, consider starting with the ten M-Prize semi-finalist entries, which Polly wrote a nice summary of here . These are all fantastic, and are only a taste of the great ideas contributed during the contest. I’ve highlighted many of my additional favorites in the five possible hack zone categories I'm proposing for consideration below:
Possible Hack Zone #1: Shared mission, values, and...
I’ve spent the past week preparing for the MIX Hackathon Pilot. As I mentioned in my introductory post , our plan was to take the first week to recruit 10-20 participants.
Well, we’ve blown right through that number. Over fifty of you have raised your hands to volunteer, representing six continents and just about every type of organization you can imagine. The pilot team includes M-Prize winners, CEOs, published authors, and even some folks who are totally new to the MIX. Thanks to each of you for raising your hands, I couldn’t have asked for a more diverse, passionate group of volunteers.
So where do we start?
Define the problem/opportunity
I’ve had great success running projects like this using a design thinking process, and that is precisely what we plan to do here. The first phase of any design thinking project is to define the problem/opportunity, and for this project, we’ve articulated it this way:
Use the Hackathon Pilot to "write the chapter" on how to enable communities of passion in and around our organizations.
One of my first tasks? I’ll be leading the Hackathon Pilot, an experiment in open collaboration we hope will help shape the future of the MIX and lead to genuine progress when it comes to crafting the “source code” for Management 2.0.
Earlier this week, we announced the winners in another great M-Prize contest ( congratulations, Lisa, Joris, and Doug !), the HCI Human Capital M-Prize. The M-Prizes continue to be a compelling channel for contributing ideas and stories to the MIX (MIXers added almost 100 new hacks and stories as part of the Human Capital contest, and have added just as many for the ongoing MBA M-Prize ). The MIX will be announcing some new M-Prizes this spring, so keep your eyes out.
Meanwhile, with the Hackathon Pilot, we aim to prototype another approach to contributing to the future of management-- one that supports collective work over individual contribution. The MIX team is putting together all sorts of mechanisms for enabling this sort of work, in part inspired by feedback and...
Why can't we build organizations that are as resilient, inventive, inspiring, and accountable--as human--as the people who work within them? That's the driving question behind and the dream fueling the MIX. Of course, it's not just our dream--it's the shared dream of countless workers and leaders in every kind of organization around the world. Hundreds of you have already stood up for that dream with your contributions--your inspiring stories, pioneering ideas, experimental designs, passion, energy and time--here on the MIX. We are so energized by and grateful for those contributions--and we need more! We also know--and you've told us--that this is not enough. If we want to create what amounts to the open source code for Management 2.0, we can't just rely on the individual contributions of management innovators everywhere--we need those energetic and inspired contributors to work together to make real progress on a set of make-or-break challenges. http://www.managementexchange.com/moonshots That's why we're rolling out a set of power tools and new platforms for collaboration among MIXers. I'm thrilled to announce the launch of the first of those: the Hackathon Pilot--an experiment designed to coordinate efforts around tackling the Communities of Passion moonshot, http://www.managementexchange.com/moonshots/unleash-capability/enable-communities-of-passion explore new modes of collective creative...
"It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit." - John Wooden
Rewards and punishments are often thought of in terms of "extrinsic" motivators--incentives that go beyond, or are greater than, the task itself and which are offered up by someone other than those performing the task. A child receives a piece of candy for sitting still or a salesman gets a trip to Hawaii for selling above quota. External motivation can often take the form of punishment or manipulation as well.
Most of us have to work to earn a living--with the evidence on display in that legendary contrivance known as a paycheck . There are many powerful inducements to show up and perform each and every day, whether you enjoy it or not, but the paycheck is often the most compelling.
In 1905, Howard Washington Odum wrote:
Well, you wake up in the mornin', You hear the work bell ring, And they march you to the table to see the same old thing. Ain't no food upon the table, and no pork up in the...
On Wednesday February 9 th at 1PM Eastern (tomorrow!) all MIX members are invited to attend a webinar discussion between Gary Hamel and the HCI Human Capital M-Prize semifinalists. The semifinalists will share a short summary of their idea or story, and Gary will give feedback on developing each entry.
With that in mind, let’s consider the gamification of work…
We know the traditional game elements of competition, leader boards, badges, and level achievements already exist, cloaked in HR terminology: performance evaluation, stack rank, merit raise, ladder level, standard title, employee-of-the-month, performance bonus – the list goes on.
Wait! – don’t we see these same practices in games? Competition, badges, leveling up,...
Imagine for a minute you are a member of the senior management team of a 5000-person, global organization. Your CEO has asked you and the entire senior management team to participate in an emergency week-long retreat.
He doesn't reveal the purpose of the meeting ahead of time, but as he kicks off the week, it is clear he is livid.
"Our employees have become complacent," he says, "I want each employee to be as passionate about this company as I am. We will not leave this week until we have developed a plan for how to inspire a more passionate, accountable employee community."
After a week of intensive meetings, the group manages to design a fantastic plan. It makes perfect sense, won't break the bank to implement, everyone is sure the employees will love it. Your CEO is ecstatic, and you all pat each other on the back and celebrate a job well done. With the emergency contained, everyone returns to the regularly-scheduled programming.
One year later, it's like Groundhog Day. The CEO is livid again, another retreat appears imminent. "Our employees still aren't as passionate as I am. It feels like nothing has changed,"...
In the fourth century BC, Plato suggested that "what is serious should be treated seriously, and what is not serious should not.... Every man and woman should spend life in this way, playing (paivzonta) the most beautiful games (paidiavi)" (803c).ii
Meanwhile, Merriam Webster defines laughter as "cause of merriment"--while a laugher is defined as something (as a game) that is easily won or handled.
As we continue to learn in the context of the Take the Work out of Work moonshot, what goes for play, goes for work. Is it possible that laughter is a serious success metric for a healthy, creative, and innovative organization?
If you are laughing, it could be because you're succeeding--it might also be why you're succeeding.
Work better with others Are more creative Fix problems instead of complaining about them Have more energy Are more optimistic Are way more motivated Get sick less often Learn faster Worry less about making mistakes - and consequently make fewer mistakes Make better decisions...
When the folks in charge of the MIX told me a few months ago that their next M-Prize would focus on the enable communities of passion moonshot, I was pretty stoked. In our little corner of the MIX, we're always looking for new ideas on how to inspire and build more productive communities. A little competition never hurts when you are trying to get the ideas flowing.
As I write this, the Human Capital M-Prize has received almost fifty entries. But there are less than ten days left until the deadline, January 20, 2010 .
If you've been considering entering, you can find the full competition details and a list of prizes here . A quick reminder of what the organizers are looking for:
The MIX and HCI are looking for the boldest thinking, most powerfully-developed vision, and the most cleverly-designed experiments for unleashing passion in our organizations. What is your bold new idea or radical solution to the lack of engagement and passion in our workforce? What game-changing story or hack can transform employees everywhere into more engaged, motivated and productive contributors?
There are some great ideas stories and hacks already...
As we close out 2010 and look forward to the New Year, let’s take a look at a well honored tradition – the New Year’s resolution .
Celebrating the New Year is perhaps one of the oldest traditions we know of. Over 4000 years ago, the ancient Babylonians celebrated the new moon on March 23 rd . Years later, in 153BC, the Roman Senate selected the god Janus to represent the beginning of the calendar year. In 46BC, Julius Caesar established the Julian calendar, securing January 1 st as the official start of the year.
The Roman god Janus, for which the month of January is named, was a mythical king in early Rome. Janus was the God of Beginnings - of open doors and doorways, and represented the passing of time, as stepping out of one doorway and through another. Janus is also depicted as having two heads, one is said to look forwards, while the other looks backwards, again symbolizing the act of going from the past to the future. Legend has it that on the last day of December at midnight Janus would see the past year and the next year at...
Reflecting on 2010, one of the things I am particularly thankful for is the opportunity to get involved with the amazing folks in the MIX community. I made my first contribution in July and starting blogging regularly on the site in November as a Moonshot Guide focusing on the Enable Communities of Passion moonshot.
As I started thinking about the community of passion we are building right here at the MIX, I thought I’d end 2010 with a few thoughts on how we might ensure we continue to build a healthy, thriving community around this site in 2011.
In my experience, the best communities usually share three key characteristics:
1. A core mission understood by all members 2. A deeply held set of values that guides members’ interactions within the community 3. An architecture of participation that allows members to easily communicate, collaborate, create, and grow together
Looking at these three characteristics, it is clear that the MIX has #1 nailed. I’d be surprised if there was anyone contributing to the MIX who didn’t deeply believe in the need to reinvent management (after all, if you are OK with the...