10 Ways to Open Up Your Company

We wanted to sum up the best ideas we have gathered from curating the topic of “open workplaces”, and the way we grouped them it adds up to only five. So we invite you to add your own ideas and top it up to ten!

1. Radical honesty - open up the flow of information, let people say what they think. To rebuild trust don’t spin or distort. Link: Best Workplace on Earth.

2. Declare a cold turkey week - for an experimental week, stop the in-company email, prohibit and close down all the old clunky ways of communicating. Channel people to walk to the desk, meet face to face, or use your open platform on Yammer, Sharepoint and the intranet. Link: Move up to second gear.

3. Free up your meetings and decisions:

  • Get out of the way - have employees and peer groups, not bosses, call meetings and make decisions. Link: Self-management at tomato company.
  • Call hackathon-style summits to address real world problems - short notice creative collaborations, no prep, diverse skills and specialisms, the laws of attaction and self-organisation drive this forward afterwards. Link: Become a Creative Community.
  • Hold spontaneous “waigaya” meetings on workplace crises - allowing heated discussion, free flow of ideas, chaotic communication, a battle of facts and opinions, open disagreement, inharmonious decision making!! Link: Waigaya - the Honda Way.

4. Open an app store - inspired by Apple invite customers, competitors, suppliers and anyone to submit new ways to use your product on a revenue sharing basis. Link: Open An App Store.

5. Plan to open up more - ask your team to self-assess on a 4 point scale and produce a plan and at least 5 more ideas to open up the company. Link: Are We Open Yet?.


What has and hasn’t worked for you to open up your workplace? What are 5 ideas you would like to add to complete the list?