Open Source Management

Here’s the panel I ran as a talk show at SXSW with our courageous first “client” an IPTV start-up named Ruckus Wirelss and Giovanni Rodriguez from their PR firm Eastwick. Ruckus shared it’s business problem: trying to initiate grassroots support for IPTV service (something thier hardware enables) but that US telcos are amazingly slow in delivering (unlike other nations). The audience was amazing. Full of smarts they shared and insight about what Ruckus needed to do. Many said they’d gladly hack the box if Ruckus was willing to give out a few. I felt like the host of business game show Match Game with a hilarious panel of experts.

It was a fun start to my quest to share what I’ve learned performing to help business get honest and human.

These forums are great for a general audience (business translation: customer service), early adopters (business translation: focus group) or internally (business translation: strategy or innovation / ideation meetings). It’s a way to bring the fun kind of performance to business.

The only way to get sustainable grassroots support is through listening. The only way to get creativity is through fun and thus an environment and ethos that allows people to be their whole selves.

Audience reactions?
“insane but useful”


Listen to the podcast of the panel.

Open Source Management : Walking the Walk

What would happen if a company was forthright and open about the challenges it faces? Why are companies embracing open-ness when it comes to their software, but not their own operation and decision-making process?

Corporations fear the authenticity and vulnerability that would build trust with their customers and better products and services. And vulnerability is necessary for connection, intimacy, trust and real conversation.

Blogs, wikis, the Web and other tech goodies have given us the means for exchange, and the impetus for integration within company fiefdoms but not necessarily the human skills for creating a space that allows us to genuinely exchange information, rather than just talk at each other.

So, how do you gets comfortable being vulnerable? How does a company come to believe this matters? By experiencing it and its results.

In this panel executed as performance/ talk show, we’ll explore and show what happens if a company is willing to have a real, vulnerable “blog” or conversation with customers, blogging experts and regular folks. Heather Gold brings her interactive performance skills to the corporate conversation with guests Jerry Michalski, blogger Mark Glaser, PR veteran Cathy Brooks and you the audience.

Next OSM Forum: June 15th 3rd Thursday with Socialtext at the gathering of Silicon Valley PR Community – Palo Alto. Sponsored by Eastwick PR.