I think the real leaders in my life, the people who have influenced me the most, share a common thread; they excel in creating the conditions in which good things can happen. Think of yourself as a platform. A utility or an environment that enables sharing, builds relationships and is extensible, allowing others to easily create other platforms on your building blocks. Be open source, sharing codes and secrets about what you do and why you do it. Join communities. Build communities.
A lot of what I do professionally is to create the conditions for education to happen. I work with a stellar team to configure tools to meet the needs of instructors and learners. We promote and support the effective use of these tools to better education. I’m passionate about it.
I’d love to know you’re passionate about. Let’s go for coffee sometime?
Do you know about BarCamp? DemoCamp? You should. I attended the 5th installment of GuelphBarCamp. It was a great opportunity to see what folks are up to, to meet some people, and to have a pint or 2. Next time, check it out!
I haven’t been able to put down William C. Taylor & Polly LaBarre’s book Mavericks at Work. They also have a great blog (accessible by clicking on the image above). The book pulls you in with positive, real-life examples of how mavericks have gone against the grain and been successful in their business innovations. It’s a great read.
Here’s two of my favourite quotes:
…organizations that aspire to create a disruptive presence in the marketplace have to devise a distinctive approach to the workplace. Companies that compete differently tend to work differently from the competition.
…formal lines of authority rarely determine how things actually get done. Most creativity happens in spite of the organization, not because of it. That’s why successful innovators don’t ask for the most resources or the strictest oversight; they ask for the most room to maneuver and the fewest bureaucratic hurdles.
In a previous post, I mentioned that I recently went to hear Thomas Homer-Dixon speak. During his talk, he spoke about working together, pooling our brainpower and creativity to solve problems. Nobody is smarter than everybody. Homer-Dixon mentioned that his next book (which he hasn’t started writing yet) would be about “Open Source Democracy”. This got me thinking about the publication quoted below:
The parameters of possibility of the internet are vast because it is the product not of a single point of reference but of its users seeking innovative ways to employ it for their own ends. In turn, it has brought together people across the world to work on solving common problems and bugs, creating a network of shared ideas and shared experiences from which we can all learn.
Think of the possibilities! If we can get people from around the world, from different walks of life to collaborate openly on solving problems. This network could surely move mountains. I wonder if Homer-Dixon needs some help writing his book…