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Today the open organization community—a global group of writers, consultants, theorists, managers, and other organizational leaders dedicated to helping others understand how open principles can transform organizational culture and design—unveiled the second edition of The Open Organization Leaders Manual. Billed as "a handbook for building innovative and engaged teams," the book is available now as a Creative Commons-licensed eBook and a paperback.

Based on hard-won, real-world experience, the new Leaders Manual is chock full of advice for leaders seeking new ways to plan for uncertain futures, build teams that act with greater engagement and accountability, and cultivate more creative and innovative environments.

But no book can include everything. In The Open Organization Leaders Manual, you won't find:

Advice on building teams that are terrified of failure. Innovation always involves risk. As author Catherine Louis suggests, "successfully executing on a business goal implies raising questions about that goal—and it absolutely requires safe-to-fail experimentation on the path to achieving that goal." She offers leaders step-by-step instructions for building teams that love to experiment—and aren't afraid to fail when they do.

Strategies for fostering monocultures. Open leaders acknowledge and harness their teams' valuable diversity. And they start by building teams composed of people who think and act differently than they do—not by surrounding themselves with copies of themselves. "If you're hiring for culture fit," Leaders Manual contributor Jen Kelchner writes, "you're doing it wrong." She explains the benefits of leading through alignment with communal goals rather than "fit."

A five-year plan. Leaders must come to terms with the fact that constant innovation can make long-term planning practically impossible. How can they help their teams set goals when conditions are always changing? Heidi Hess von Ludewig explains one way: Through small, iterative changes and short-term experimentation, leaders can help their teams make progress.

The recipe for meetings that stifle creativity. Open leaders hold inclusive and collaborative meetings that can bring out the best in people. And they're able to do this because they've fostered trust among their teammates. "When people can trust you to model and reinforce threat-reducing behaviors during collaboration and idea sharing," writes MaryJo Burchard, "you make room for a true meritocracy of ideas to emerge."

Tips for crafting goals disconnected from your organization's mission. Open leaders are experts at aligning people's passions and talents with an organization's mission and goals. They also help others plan work transparently and collaboratively—with input from colleagues and stakeholders across organization. Leaders Manual contributor Michael Doyle explains the benefits of taking an open approach to setting goals with your teams.

Despite these obvious omissions, we certainly hope you'll grab your copy of The Open Organization Leaders Manual, Second Edition, available now at Opensource.com.


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Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.

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