33. Open-source principles in digital workplaces w/ Niel Miller & Daphnée Laforest
March 22, 2022
This episode was previously published on The Digital Workplace Podcast where our host joined Niel Miller to discuss the five levels of autonomy at work and how open-source principles influenced the best distributed-work practices.
While sharing an appreciation for Matt Mullenweg’s ideas of the 5 Levels of remote work, Daphnée pointed out that most of the companies that are leading the discussion about distributed work have something in common. They have a deeply distributed bias.
Automattic, GitLab, Elastic, and many others were initially open-source projects that later formalized into companies. When a company has its origins in a decentralized and distributed community, it makes sense that they would also bring those principles to building a remote, or distributed company.
And they’ve succeeded as distributed companies in large part because of their foundational principles. By pushing trust out to the margins and embracing asynchronous work (out of necessity often), they found a system that worked great.
However, when a company doesn’t have the same foundations and tries to shift to remote work, they often run into issues. Remote work is not the hard part. The difficulty is the years of practice in asynchronous communication, decentralized authority, and building digital culture.
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