For the past few months, I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a group called the MIX Hackathon Pilot, helping to brainstorm ways to reinvent management from the inside-out.

To do this, we followed a fascinating process that looked something like this:

  1. List the most successful communities of passion that exist, as well as the communities of passion you belong to
  2. Define “community of passion”
  3. Identify the barriers to creating a community of passion
  4. Rate and rank the barriers
  5. Create mini-hack prototypes that address the barriers
  6. Rate and rank the mini-hacks
  7. Join a hacking team and produce the full hack

(Even being the consummate nerd that I am, all this talk of “hacking” had me a bit confused when I first began. If you are in the same boat as I was, just know that we’re borrowing this term from the tech world and re-appropriating it to the way we think about management. Essentially a hack is simply an idea that will hopefully “hack” into the way we currently do things and change them in a positive way.)

In Stage 5, I proposed a mini-hack called “Build A Strengths-Based Environment” and to my delight the community ranked it highly. I was asked to lead a small team to build it out into a full hack, and just this morning I posted it on the MIX site.

Here’s the basic overview:

At the core of a healthy organization is the idea that people are respected and valued for their different gifts/strengths/talents. This is where true diversity is found, as well, as it is these innate abilities which create our worldview and varied perspectives.

If a tribe can adopt a mindset which truly helps people see each other as unique, special, individuals that have gifts and strengths, and that these talents provide important variety and valuable differing perspectives to the team, an almost magical level of trust and collaboration forms.

While a strengths-affirming culture is not easy to achieve, it is an essential goal for companies who wish to remain competitive in the new hyperconnected, collaborative economy.

Check out the full, very detailed hack here.

There are few things better than finding/creating work that uses our strengths. We did our best to make this hack incredibly practical and straightforward — I hope you will find it helpful!


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