MIX Hackathon: Communities of Passion
The MIX Hackathon found new ways to build communities of passion.
For all of the innovation and advances to come from 21st century organizations, the organizations themselves can be remarkably uninspiring places to work.
Many people increasingly report feeling disengaged, even disenfranchised by bureaucratic and politicized organizational cultures. Workers who mentally check out of their organizations are less likely to work passionately to continue to drive technological, economic, and social growth.
The MIX is reinventing management
The MIX was founded by management guru Gary Hamel as a community of management innovators interested in reinventing management for a new age. The MIX is designed as an open, collaborative platform to surface bold ideas and instructive stories that will embolden and equip management innovators in every realm of endeavor.
In short, many of our organizations have become unfit places for human beings to work and thrive.
But what if that changed?
What if we made our organizations feel more like the people they employ: smart, innovative, dynamic, and passionate?
Solving this problem is a key goal behind the Management Innovation eXchange (or MIX). The MIX was founded by management guru Gary Hamel as a community of management innovators interested in reinventing management for a new age. The MIX is designed as an open, collaborative platform to surface bold ideas and instructive stories that will embolden and equip management innovators in every realm of endeavor.
Borrowing from the tech world and using the MIX’s existing management innovation methodology developed in “offline” sessions, New Kind helped the MIX develop its first online management hackathon. A management hackathon is a short, intense, coordinated effort to develop management hacks (innovative ideas or solutions) that can be implemented by organizations to overcome barriers to progress or innovation.
The subject of our first hackathon was to study communities of passion. A community of passion is a group of people who share a common set of values and are passionately pursuing a specific purpose. Our hypothesis was that if we could better understand how to recognize, create, and empower these communities of passion within organizations, we might help organizations more easily reach their full innovative potential.
The Communities of Passion Hackathon ran from March to November of 2011, and was organized as a series of sprints in which 60 participants from six continents developed a series of hacks. These hacks were intended to help turn stagnant organizations into vibrant, innovative communities of passion.
New Kind’s Chris Grams facilitated this volunteer community effort, helping contributors make progress despite geographic barriers and asynchronous conversations, encouraging leadership from star contributors, and focusing the group’s attention on developing the most promising hacks.
Ultimately, the Communities of Passion Hackathon team completed 12 innovative management hacks, two of which were finalists in the prestigious HBR/McKinsey Management 2.0 Challenge competition.
Since the hacks were developed through a collaborative process that engaged every volunteer, the finished products not only benefited from a variety perspectives, and critiques, but also enjoyed the advocacy and support of all of the people who participated in their creation.
While many of the hacks were extremely powerful, perhaps equally important was the sense of community that arose through meaningful collaboration among passionate volunteers. Several of our participants also helped us write the final MIX report that tells the Hackathon’s story from the inside. Many volunteers returned to make key contributions during the Management 2.0 Hackathon in 2012, and several have stayed involved with the MIX in other ways.