7 cultural models to adapt to a world of increased complexity





How do you build a great culture? What kind of company/community will help people flourish? What can we learn from the Open Source community to do so? How can we use these insights to help the Drupal community or our companies to be at their best?

How can you separate great cultural patterns, from accidental cultural artifacts that could even be detrimental to an organization, but that seems relevant because of survivor bias? One of the ways to do so is to try to get an as complete as possible understanding of the principles behind open source culture.

During my 13 years in the Drupal community, I’ve been reading and thinking about these underlying principles. In this talk, I want to introduce 7 mental models and surprising insights that I have adopted along te way that has transformed the way I think about business. I will present the insights together with references to the books that gave me these insights, and explain why I believe they can help an organization to build an open source-like culture.

The insights are the following:
1) Motivation is not about carrots or sticks
2) Collaboration at scale does not have to be transactional
3) We aggravate conflicts through our own behavior and language
4) Language is an indicator of cultural maturity
5) Hierarchical systems fail in fast-changing environments
6) Digital businesses are value networks rather than value streams
7) Constraints and autonomy are not mutually exclusive

Session Type:




Session track:


Drupal version: