If you’ve been paying attention to the open source community lately, or are keen to keeping abreast of the latest trends in corporate leadership or management, you may have heard of Jim Whitehurst’s new book titled The Open Organization. The book compares and contrasts leadership styles and engagement strategies in the modern corporate world. It argues for distributed decision making, employee involvement, and a meritocracy over the traditional top-down, follow orders, military style of management. This book is a must-read for all management types, and employees. While your organization may not be as “open” as RedHat, there’s certainly insight (and employee engagement!) to be had by heeding some of the management tips from Jim.
This book reminds me of Dan Pink’s talk at the RSA about motivation. Once basic monetary needs are established, people are no longer motivated by compensation. Instead, people become motivated by autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Jim’s book (and subsequently RedHat’s corporate culture) further enforce that merit is becoming more of a factor in igniting passion and performance in your employees. If you have a few hours, have a read of Jim’s book. If you have only 10 minutes, watch Dan’s talk. Both will open your eyes and help you understand how to best manage engagement and performance in the 21st century organization.