Problems, problems…

JP has a good post about how Open Source makes you responsible. He quotes Chuq van Rospach thus:

Open source requires you as a manager of IT, or as a staffer, or as the CIO, to be willing to commit to being responsible for fixing a problem, and therefore, be responsible for the problem itself.

The support contract is not about fixing the problem. The support contract is about allowing you to shift responsibility for the problem. It is the tool that allows you to go (as the IT person, manager or organization) to the customer, or your manager, or the CIO, or the VP of whatever organization is pissed at you for the problem, and say “we’re doing everything I can, but we can’t fix it until we hear back from the vendor”.

I think this argument would apply in all sorts of other places, and I’d also take it a bit further.

I think it’s a powerful shift when we stop seeing ourselves as separate from “the problem” and instead see ourselves as connected to it. Maybe seeing ourselves as part of a larger whole including “the problem”, one of the ideas emphasised in Presence. It might lead us to wonder about the change we need to make – or allow – in ourselves and get beyond finger pointing.

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