Open Leadership

Open Leadership

This MozFest workshop appealed to me as I’m a big fan of the collaborative nature of a ‘Camp‘, but also because I was keen to learn more about the benefits of Open Leadership.



The workshop was pretty handy, because I got to see Open Leadership in practice. Employees from MIT Media Lab and Mozilla worked with participants in small groups. They shared their plans and asked contributors to use their experiences, knowledge and ideas to build on, test and challenge the plan. I could see how these discussions will allow MIT to iterate towards the final product.

What is Open Leadership? Collaboration (with everyone) and sharing (widely and freely and online) are core principles of Open Leadership.

Mozilla have defined the principles and benefits of Open Leadership as:

  • Rapid prototyping in the wild = improved projects
  • Public storytelling, documentation and reflection = greater efficiency
  • Community contribution = increased discoverability
  • Making the content of work accessible = a stronger commons

Whilst Open Leadership has its roots in open source developments (Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia etc.), it strikes me that there is value in utilising the principles and therefore benefits in both offline and online projects and developments.

It would be easy for us to think we already work in an open way. Libraries are pretty good at sharing, but this is often after the fact and upon request. I believe there is something to gain by a greater understanding of Open Leadership and Open Projects.

Could we improve our impact on the community by actively demonstrating the intention to share widely and invite others (e.g. library colleagues and the community) to collaborate and build on our products and innovations from the outset?

There’s more for me to figure out here, but let me know if you’d like to explore Open Leadership and its use in libraries with me.

Find out more: Mozilla have created a training series (using GitHub) Open Leadership : Best Practices Working Open. Take a look!


More about my MozFest adventures.

Sharing the knowledge gained from the adventure that was MozFest 2016. Big thanks to SCL for the bursary that enabled me to attend.