MIX 2.0 - a real community
'The MIX as a community': for me this is the key hacking area by far. I'm interested that Alberto Blanco suggests that we are already a community. For me, it doesn't feel like it. Certainly not a 'community of passion' that we hacked about before. Perhaps that's just because I've not been participating in the most recent hacks, but back in in 2011 I started to feel that we weren't constructed in the right way to achieve what we were set out to do (see http://blog.social-advantage.com/2011/07/management-20-on-mix.html ) and I therefore lost of some of my intial enthusiasm. We're certainly not a flat / democratic / self-managing community. To be fair, we were never set up this way, with Chris Grams appointing himself as the benevolent dictator for life, which I did understand. But we're not even set up in a way that naturally forms relationships between us. The 'me in three' and photo allows us to provide some information about each other, but there's no real opportunity to talk to each other here, other than about the ideas put forward within the hack. The current MIX puts ideas in the centre, whereas we really we need to focus much more on each other and creating deeper relationships between us. Helping us to share our own experiences, insights and perspectives, and build on these by connecting with the experiences, insights and perspectives of others. And doing this in a less structured way than is currently enabled here. There's a couple of difficulties in doing this of course. 1. Creating this sort of community is never easy. Some of you were members of a 'moon-shots' ning group / community that I tried to moderate for a while before the MIX was set up. This group attempted to do what I've been suggesting above but it didn't really get anywhere. But just because it's hard to do doesn't mean we shouldn't try. In fact I'd suggest we positively need to push the boundaries of how we behave together if we're going to succeed in pushing the boundaries on the innovations we create. 2. It's particularly difficult because there is a natural hierarchy in place here, with Gary at the top. And there are a lot of hierarchical behaviours going on as well. I love Jamie Notter's hack on 'Embracing Decentralisation' (which in many ways, deals with the same issues that I'm writing about here), particularly his observation on the Mashup event and the traditional way this was done. I also observed the same tendency at MLab events in London (eg see http://blog.social-advantage.com/2009/01/mlab-management-20-conference.html .) And if I can be blunt, since we're amongst friends, I also think you see the same thing when Gary strolls into a conference surrounded by two minders, delivers an excellent presentation - but without taking questions - and is escorted straight out again. The same mindset is unfortunately often demonstrated here. If we're going to innovate effectively, we need to get rid of some of this hierarchy and start connecting more as equals. So what's needed? Well, it is partly about 'Connecting MIXers with Mavericks' as submitted by the MIX team, but it's also about breaking down the silos so we don't have the un-neccessary divides of MIXers vs Mavericks, MIX team vs not in the team, etc. And I think that does need to be led by Gary and the 'MIX team', but as community facilitators, rather than as the lead innovators. I think if we did all this we'd start to see some more interesting innovations coming through too.