comedically helping business get honest and human

“The idea behind Open Source Management is to apply what I’ve been learning performing to business, and to bring the intelligence and vulnerability of open source systems (and I believe they go together) to interaction between people in business forums. Blogs and wikis and UNIX work because they’re open. This is even more important to have between people. The vulnerability allows the business to gain from the amazing resources, intelligence and ideas of many people who will contribute as long as they are listened to and valued.”
—SXSW 2006 Panel (podcast)

I began Open Source Managment at SXSW with our courageous first “client,” an IPTV start-up named Ruckus Wirelss, and Giovanni Rodriguez from their PR firm Eastwick. Ruckus shared its business problem: trying to initiate grassroots support for IPTV service (something their hardware enables) but that US telcos are amazingly slow in delivering (unlike other nations).

The audience was amazingly smart and shared their insights 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?

“hilarious”
“insane but useful”

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, PBS.com blogger Mark Glaser, PR veteran Cathy Brooks and you the audience.

Next OSM Forum

Fall 2006 with Socialtext at the gathering of Silicon Valley PR Community—Palo Alto. current TV - Heather Gold talks with flickr's George Oates

current TV: My interview with George Oates of flickr. flickr is a great example of Open Source Management



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