In his much heralded book ‘the Gods of Management‘ Charles Handy introduced, as part of his four suggested organization cultures, the ‘Person Culture’. This particular culture (as opposed to the other cultures of; Power Culture, Role Culture and Task Culture) was seen by many as a disruptive and ‘difficult to manage’ culture. The interesting fact is that the Person Culture is now stronger than ever and is producing spectacular results.
Have you heard of WordPress, Mozilla’s Firefox or Linux (to name a few)? These three tremendously popular software products have all been created (and continue to evolve) using the Person Culture as described by Handy. The commonality in the philosophy, and ultimately culture, of the three afore mentioned software products is that they all comply with Open Source Software standards (visit ‘The Open Source Initiative‘ for an excellent definition of Open Source). In plain English, and in practical use, Open Source software is normally developed and evolves with significant input from the broad community with most of the community providing input due to their interest in the project or software itself (i.e. the vast majority of contributors are not remunerated).
In Witzel’s excellent book ‘Fifty Key Figures in Management‘ it is noted ‘Person Cultures….can be thought of as clusters, with members drawn together almost at random on the basis of self-interest, with no other common bond’. Open Source projects are just that; groups of common interest parties drawn together at random to achieve goals based on self-interest. Ultimately, roughly 30 years ago, Charles Handy identified an organization culture which would, and continues to, produce leading edge software!