Session: Culture hacking and the coming era of magnificence

Wednesday 18.00 - 19.00
Room: Keynote

A culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that both describes and defines a group. Our era is increasingly characterized by an emergent “software culture.” Not only is software itself creating much of our global wealth, but the unique challenges of creating our software have demanded wholly new types of engineered corporate culture from us. In response to the demands of software, various high tech development disciplines have been articulated and “packaged up.” We have created several seminal management “movements” (such as Agile, Scrum, XP, etc.). These movements represent the birth of culture engineering and, although they are in and of themselves significant, they are very primitive compared to what will soon follow.

Culture hacking is itself a distinct kind of culture engineering, and is faithful to the particular hacker ethos that originated in the world of software hacking. Good culture hacking will tend to protect personal freedom, extend openness, embody rationality and promote culture design elegance. Culture hacking takes into account the limits and uses of authority, is skeptical of incoherent institutional power, and is subversive of it. As our many cultures become increasingly (and fruitfully) hacked, we will likely grow enormously in effectiveness, and ambition. Happily, such rich and desirable productivity gains will be contingent upon culturally designed nobility of purpose, and a potent and virtuous cycle will kick in.

This cycle will lead to an era of widespread and abundant greatness, an era of magnificence.

Tags: Keynote

Jim McCarthyJim McCarthy

Jim McCarthy began his career as a software/high tech guy 35 years ago. Over the years, he has synthesized what he has learned from his software development and executive corporate experience and applied it to solving the riddles of team dynamics. Jim has led large software development, business and marketing efforts at Bell Labs, The Whitewater Group, and Microsoft Corporation. Jim also has experience as a consultant, coach, motivational keynote speaker and teacher.