Main image of article Management Hackathon: Building Communities of Passion


Hackathons generate some of the coolest application innovations. They are a boon to developers and Facebook swears by them: some of their most popular features, such as the “Like” button, came from company hackathons. But why should programmers get all the fun? Can’t other aspects of business learn from the hackathon model? That’s the hope for the Management Hackathon, says Chris Grams, community guide for the Management Innovation eXchange, which produces the event. What is a Management Hackathon? Grams defines a Management Hackathon as a group of people collaborating to change the old management model in an Internet-enabled world. They launched a pilot hackathon with 60 people around the world with this goal: “How to enable communities of passions within an organization.” To pull this off, the hackers looked at groups that already had communities of passions, such as sports teams, and asked, “What’s happening in those organizations that’s not happening in ours?” What they learned is certain things, such as not letting employees have their own ideas, were preventing communities of passion to form, said Grams, who's also president and partner of New Kind. In communities of passion, ideas must come from the bottom up, allowing individuals to immediately take ownership and begin implementing. When dictates come from the top down, communities of passion don’t form, Grams said. People self-select their community of passion One of the key models for communities of passion is autonomy. You need to have a system where people can self-select their community of passion. The goal is to have a situation where they can join, not just because they’re getting a salary, but because they’re driven to be involved and take ownership, said Grams. To participate in the second Management Hackathon, go to It’s free.