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  • 🖤 Open Works #011 The Not So Secret Sauce Of Open Source

🖤 Open Works #011 The Not So Secret Sauce Of Open Source

2 minutes of fuel to ignite your Open Culture journey - shipped every 2 weeks.

Greetings Pioneers!

Welcome to the 11th edition of Open Org’s newsletter and the 43 Progressive People People who joined since last time. If you’re reading this then three things are probably true:

  1. You’ve felt isolated in your role at least once already this year.

  2. You see culture as tangible ways of working and not ‘hand wavy’ or as a recent HBR article described it as invisible “like the wind” 🤦 

  3. You want to build companies that are based on trust and transparency.

👉️ Quick reminder of what’s in the box?

So this is our fortnightly-ish drop of tips, resources, memes, templates and insights from our small but mighty community of amazing People People trailblazing workplace transparency in the pursuit of a less opaque, less busted world of work.

Our default is open; most people can access most information (including most conversations) about most things across the company. We trust everyone to make good decisions and spend their time wisely, and so they have access to “as much as possible” (and of course is prudent).

— Beau Lebens, Automattic (source)

Ready to dive in?

Let’s go!

🎁 Free* shit to make your life easier:

IT'S ALIVE! The Built for People employee handbook is READY. If you'd like to download a copy, please do so on Gumroad on the link below.

*OK so not quite free this time but it’s for a good cause - all donations are for Radical Recruit, an organisation that bridges the gap between disadvantaged job seekers and the business world.

A huge thanks to everyone who hopped on the 24 hour stream and helped co-create this. 🙏 

The Built For People Live Employee Handbook (for Radical Recruit)

Feel free to contribute to this - it’s a community project and we’d love your thoughts and feedback.

Peace ✌️ 

p.s we also recently open sourced an interview question index to help you get signal on org culture and manager style when interviewing.

Interview Questions that’ll help calm your inner Snape.

You can get it here: 👉️ Interview Question Index

🎉 Transparency Shoutouts

Adam and I have been long-time fan boys of how Nebulab build culture transparently and we love this post from Chief People Officer Matteo Latini. Check it out 👇️ 

Their public employee handbook is first rate. Check it out here:

📖 OpenOrg #Build in Public

This month we had 7 new product ideas but managed to not pursue them and just double down on peoplemetrics.fyi. This is a real 🦞 “lobster moment” for Adam and I.

We are notorious magpies when it comes to shiny new ideas 😅.

Instead I think we were (for once! 😂) kinda grown up. We split our founder responsibilities overnight, made some tough priority calls and then jumped with 4 feet into a world where we:

  • Run community every day

  • Ship SaaS product features every week

  • Deliver cohorts and programmes every month

  • Consult and coach accreditations every quarter


I’m getting pretty good vibes about peoplemetrics.fyi, I can see it becoming such a powerful influencing tool for People & Talent Leaders. Something that helps you combine story-telling, with your business data AND the context from the rest of the market. Excited!

POV: Adam and I every time we see the slack alert that someone joined the waitlist.

350+ People Leaders on the beta and a gloriously full product roadmap to go after.

🚀 We plan to launch properly March/April.

If data + storytelling is your jam then head over and join our early adopter waitlist (unlocks an 80% discount on launch).

Having the time of my life building it, even if every day is a constant reminder of how much i have to learn about software engineering. Luckily have some incredible friends who advise me late into the night in between games of League of Legends :-)

Anyways, for the latest behind the scenes and our #buildinpublic story check out Adam’s monthly journal here 🙌.

💡 Tangible Transparency Tip

Share whether you do or don’t give feedback during the hiring process and at what stages.

🖐️ Stop: failing to manage applicant expectations from day -1.

👉️ Start: being explicit about which rounds folks can expect feedback after and which they won’t.

Even if you’re not set up to do it, don’t have capacity etc

Say that. Then explain why.

It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being open. That’s what builds trust in your employer brand and prevents the Glassdoor/Blind rips.

Example: remote.com’s candidate FAQs on their handbook:

Remote.com being real.

📚️ Interesting Internet

Things I find that I like. Hope you like them too:

  1. Book: User Story Mapping, by Jeff Patton. A classic but well worth a re-read if you’re doing PX design this year.

  2. Template: People Stories’ open sourced library of resources, curated by the epic Marie Krebs. Insta-bookmark for people people.

  3. Post: 11 lessons from 11 years, by Maria Campbell. Great read from a seasoned Fintech leader on startup work-life.

  4. Framework: Xanax for decision-making. Simple and effective decision-making framework for leadership teams.

  5. Product: Check out Ashore.io - the 'work from anywhere' company; their weekly newsletter, written by CEO Aled, collates some of the most interesting reading recommendations you'll find on the web with a focus on productivity, flexible working, and a dash of niche literary references. Link to sub at the bottom of their home page.

🦁 Join the Open Culture Revolution

We are continuing our search for more progressive People & Talent folks who want to spark change in their orgs. You know workplace transparency is the future of work but you’re not sure how to get started / operationalise? You’re exactly the person we’re looking for.

Let’s do this thing! :-)

We’re running a bunch of exciting programmes in the New Year, including our signature remote cohorts and bootcamps for People & Talent Folks and our new 8 week programme for fractional People People. 🔥

Hit reply, if you’d like to learn more, or hit the button👇️ 

If you’re curious about what we’re building, have an idea or want to collab then Adam and I would love to chat. Our cal is always open here.

With 🧊 & 🔥 

Adam & John

John Faulkner-Willcocks and Adam Horne in a field

Us on a family walk, 100% not talking open org 🙄

p.s 👋 Come say hi on Linkedin and if you think a friend might enjoy this then please share it with them. 👉️ Folks can sub here. 🤘 Cheers.