Introducing the Open Leaders culture track

Setting the conditions for open & empowering others to lead

Photo CC-BY-NC-SA by Mozilla Festival

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already about to launch Open Leaders 6! Open Leaders is Mozilla’s leadership development program that takes participants on a deep dive into becoming “open by design.” Each year a winter cohort feeds into the Global Sprint, and a fall cohort feeds into MozFest. The program invites participation from community members, fellows, and Mozilla staffers interested in leveling up their open practices.

Open Leaders is for all sorts of people and projects. You might be starting out on your open leadership journey or you might be bringing a mature project to the program to find new ways to interact with your community. Past participants have come from all over the open ecosystem, representing technical and non-technical projects in open data, open education, open government, open hardware, open science, open source software, privacy & security, and more.

This round, we’re piloting a new “culture track” to improve how we serve participants who work on openness outside of traditional projects. We’ll focus on the principles, practices, and skills of open leadership and less on the steps to open a project. This track will help you understand how to design and build an open culture that promotes understanding, sharing, and participation and inclusion so you and your teammates feel empowered to make the change you want to see in the world.

The culture track might be especially interesting to you if you:

  • Work day to day within your community to promote openness.
  • Lead cultural change in your community, organization, or project.
  • Serve in a particular outreach role to help people make change on a peer-to-peer basis.

There are two big ideas behind the culture track. First, we want to help you self-assess where you are on your own open leadership journey. That way you can set meaningful goals for moving ahead in your own personal leadership practice. Second, we want to help you assess your community or organization’s culture. How open is it already? How can it become even more open in strategic ways?

Together, we’ll work towards those ends so that participants will:

  • Know the principles and practices of open leadership, as well as the skills related to building an open culture.
  • Understand how openness benefits a community or organization.
  • Understand how “open by design” differs from “open by default.”
  • Be able to set the conditions for open in their communities or organizations.
  • Be able to self-assess an set goals related to their own open leadership practices.
  • Be able to empower others to lead in an open community or organization.

The culture track will run alongside the other Open Leaders 6 cohorts from the week of September 11th, 2018, through the week of December 13th, 2018. Participating requires about 3 hours a week. During our last call in December, participants will share case studies of how they’ve applied the principles, practices, and skills of open leadership to cultural change in their communities or organizations.

Since MozFest falls in the middle of our timeline, we’ll also unpack how to teach open culture to other nodes of our communities in engaging, inclusive, and participatory ways. Those attending MozFest will have the opportunity to examine practices and respond to different abilities, ages and disciplines participating in their work. Those not attending will be able forge these connections with other virtual audiences

We hope you’ll apply for Open Leaders 6. In addition to the culture track cohort, another 4 project-based cohorts will explore what it means to be “open by design” in their work.

If you’d like to learn more about Open Leaders 6 or the culture track and to apply as a participant, visit the program website here. Please let us know if we can answer any questions!