Where We Stand

The Open Leadership Network has a wide-scope vision for the future of Open workplaces worldwide. We hold unambiguous positions on important workplace issues, positions that align on and support this Open vision. We advocate for specific approaches related to Open Leadership, the use of Open Space Technology, and Invitation-Based Change™. You can click through the brief descriptions below to explore where we stand.

Employee Engagement

Engaged employees are absolutely essential for lasting change to occur in organizations. Efforts at enterprise-level change fail, when the employee-engagement issue is not clearly addressed as part of the overall plan. We hold that the engagement of employees is essential. LEARN MORE

Invitation-Based Change™

Formally authorized leaders hold authority to hire, fire, and delegate. In periods of rapid change, delegations are less effective than invitations because invitations generate the essential ingredient which is employee engagement. Invitations from leaders also generate much more actionable feedback than delegations. We advocate the use of leadership invitations and especially Open Space Technology for improving overall enterprise performance over the long term. LEARN MORE

Decision-Rights and Employee Engagement

People need a perceived sense of control to maintain good psychological health, and this means at least some minimal level of decision-making that directly affects the work they are doing each day.

Deciding is engaging. Within well-defined boundaries, people are happiest and do their best work when they are making decisions within a well-understood and durable set of constraints. Self-organization works best when people have a clear goal, and a not-too-confining set of “guardrails” to work from. Boundary Management is a core pattern of Open Business Agility™.

Becoming a responsive organization is possible when decision-making is decentralized. We hold that real transformation is possible if and when decision-rights are distributed in service to improving flows of value.

We hold the following to be true:

  • Real improvement requires real employee engagement; and
  • The primary way to engage employees is to authorize real decision-making, in service to improving flows of value from the enterprise to paying customers.

Imposing Change in Organizations

If imposing change in organizations actually worked, there would be thousands upon thousands of verifiable examples. We cannot locate these examples. We hold that the imposition of change, especially the forcing of “Agile transformation”, can disengage employees. It also often encourages some of the very best talent in the organization to seek employment elsewhere. In summary, we hold that imposing change is, on balance, quite destructive to employee morale… and overall organizational health. LEARN MORE

Open Source Licensing for Meeting Designs, Frameworks and Engagement Models

Truly open licensing encourages innovation. The ability to compose new derived works and commercialize them creates affirmative conditions for real progress. Social technology such as meeting designs, frameworks and engagement models which are published open have the potential to improve the lives of many people, and advance human progress.

Examples of social technology that is published open include: The Scrum Guide, Open Space Technology, The Scrum At Scale Guide, the Core Protocols, and OpenSpace Agility, to name just a few.

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