June 25th, 2014

Identity Labels

This is an excerpt from my book Enlightening Technical Leadership.

As we participate in open source projects or open learning communities like Wikipedia, Quora, Stack Exchange and others, we frequently encounter people from different countries who work at different companies. It’s not unusual to see people change organizational affiliations while working on the same project, or change projects while working at the same organization. Independent of any of the labels next to our names, we continue to increase the amount of innovative capability and insightful knowledge freely available to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

This perspective reminds us that countries, companies and communities are all inner layers that we can check and uncheck. Holding these mental constructs lightly, we can recognize our affinities for them without turning them into identity millstones. We can keep our eye on a vision that transcends boundaries, wherever we happen to be. Whether we’re helping a company provide greater value to its customers, or helping a community provide greater value to its audience, we’re open to solutions that tap our connections and capabilities beyond our roles as employees or community members.

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