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  • 🖤 Open Works #014 Look between R and U of your keyboard

🖤 Open Works #014 Look between R and U of your keyboard

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

Greetings Pioneers!

Welcome to the 14th edition of Open Works and the 51 Progressive People People who joined since last time.

If you’re reading this then three things are probably true:

  1. You believe there's a smarter way to built trust at work 

  2. You've been blamed for something that easily could have been avoided by better internal executive comms

  3. You've worked with at least one CEO who you genuinely believe might in fact be from another planet

👉️ 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.

Ready to dive in?

Let’s go!

p.s if you get value from this newsletter, It would mean the world if you’d share it with another people person.

Here's the subscribe link 🙏 

– John

Transparency doesn’t mean sharing everything. There’s good and bad transparency. Good transparency helps answer questions, and bad transparency raises more questions.

— Mathilde Collin, Co-Founder & CEO of Front (source)

🎁 Free shit to make your life easier

We’re doing a big spring clean on our open source resources which have now been dowloaded over 500k times 🤯 

You can bookmark all of them here:


Yes, really!

(Some) People People on hearing this glorious news…

And as a special bonus….When Adam and I were on the hunt for the most open, most awesome employee handbooks of all time, we built this database of 50 inspiring examples. Might provide some inspo to you on how to operationalise transparency.

50 Employee Handbooks to nerd out on

📖 OpenOrg #Build in Public

Sorry been quiet for a few weeks folks, easter holidays with child care, shipping several things at once and building furiously has meant honestly we’ve probably had 1 plate too many to spin.

🌱 We’re both gonna take a day off next week and try and leave phones behind to recharge a bit. That’s us recharging not the phones, although they could use a break too 🙂 

Us, taking tomorrow off. Maybe.

But in the meantime here’s the skinny on what we been up to:

In a word:

Community, community community. 🥰 

We’ve been blown away by how our initial 150 community members have helped each other and feels like we’re co-creating something pretty special here. Love it.

We’ve had some amazing speakers in (thanks to Thomas Forstner @ Juro and Henry Stewart @ Happy) and a fab roundtable on leadership team alignment. Special thanks to Deb Haas, James Hems and Ella Smith-Dunn for a combination of facilitation, notes and energy. You rock! 🙏 

One thing that stands out is just how quick folks get actionable help and guidance. Our #help-please and #gratitudes channel are 2 of my favourite places on the internet 🤗 

What folks are saying :



We also kicked off our first buildinpublic hackathon – creating an open people manager handbook to help empower and enable new startup people managers. More on this soon :-)

And if you’d like to be a part of our small but mighty community of progressives, then come and join us! 👇️ 

Also, we’ve been hard at work putting the final touches on our first Gumroad product. We hope folks don’t mind us doing the odd paid thing now and then. Our rule of thumb is build and open source 10, sell 1.

Here’s what we’re doing:

Doing Culture Right: 10 Culture Playbooks to save you 100+ hours of planning

Beyond that, we’re also working on a major release for peoplemetrics.fyi the benchmarking tool for startup people leaders. It’s been a wild month for us with this and i’m just surfacing from demos and onboarding our first customers. 🎉 

Also just for fun: here’s a sneak peek of how engineering is going 😂 

Sadie – this one’s for you 😂 x

One last thing – we’ve still got a few places left on our summer bootcamp.

Join us and 15 other progressive people people for 4 weeks in July to learn how to build trust with a transparent employer brand and next level candidate & people experience.

👉️ Apply here

🎉 Transparency Shoutouts

Loving this trend–Tech companies starting to open source areas of their code base and post paid bounties for the work.

It’s a great innovation on the concept of a talent community.

Swapping “join our talent community” for “work async on a real business problem and get paid for it”.

You get to know their code, they get to see your skills.

You get paid for your time.


Here’s Maybe and founder Josh Pigford showing us how it’s done:

Open source feature bounties $ – the new way to build a ‘talent community’

💡 Tangible Transparency Tip

🖐️ Stop: Trying to attract everyone to your job ads. Quantity is not the goal. Quality is.

👉️ Start: Helping people understand why you might not be a good fit for them.

🛠️ How: Do as plain.com do:

plain.com job ads balance ATTRACT and REPEL.

📚️ Interesting Internet

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

  1. Book: Deliberate Calm: how to learn and lead in a volatile world. Thanks Maddi Dick for the rec 🤲 

  2. Template: Front’s weekly all hand’s notion template.

  3. Post: HR’s not your PA – Adam Horne

  4. Framework:  Step by step guide to creating a team charter - Jill Felska

  5. Product: Humaneer.app - Careen and Kim are cookin on gas RN! 🔥 Their HR for HR app is flying with awesome creator content and they’ve just launched Mak: your HR AI Agent. 🚀 

  6. Newsletter: Posthog’s Product for Engineers - ton of useful culture learns from one of our fave product orgs. Great to see this POV if you’re a Head of People at a tech company.

🖤 Join the Open Culture Revolution

Together We'll Build a More Trusted, Transparent World of Work.

Join 100's of companies & people leaders worldwide who believe open, high-trust culture is non-negotiable at work.

We combine community, consulting & data to ensure all our members are fully equipped to build more transparent, trusted Open Orgs.

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

p.s 👋 Come say hi on Linkedin and if you think a friend might enjoy this then please share it with them. It would mean the world.

👉️ New round here? You can sub here for a twice-monthly drop of open source templates, tips and resources to inspire your open culture building journey.

John Faulkner-Willcocks and Adam Horne in a field

Faces for the radio.