I read the “We Are Not Loco” post a few days ago. I could understand that Randall wanted to further liberate his team in terms of creativity and everything else, but to me it looks feels the wrong approach.
The post makes a simple promise: do away with bureaucracy, rename the team to use a less ambiguous name, JFDI! and things are going to be a lot better. This sounds compelling. We all like simplicity; in a faster and more complicated world we all would like things to be simpler again.
What I can also agree with is the general sense of empowerment. If you’re member of a team somewhere or want to become part of one: go ahead and do awesome things – your team will appreciate your hard work and your ideas.
So what was it in the post that made me sad? It took me a while to find out what specifically it was. The feeling set in when I realised somebody turned their back on a world-wide community and said “all right, we’re doing our own thing – what we used to do together to us is just old baggage”.
Sure, it’s always easier not having to discuss things in a big team. Especially if you want to agree on something like a name or any other small detail this might take ages. On the other hand: the world-wide LoCo community has achieved a lot of fantastic things together: there are lots of coordinated events around the world, there’s the LoCo team portal, and most importantly, there’s a common understanding of what teams can do and we all draw inspiration from each other’s teams. By making this a global initiative we created numerous avenues where new contributors find like-minded individuals (who all live in different places on the globe, but share the same love for Ubuntu and organising local events and activities). Here we can learn from each other, experiment and find out together what the best practices for local community awesomeness are.
Going away and equating the global LoCo community with bureaucracy to me is desolidarisation – it’s quite the opposite of “I Am Who I Am Because Of Who We All Are”.
Personally I would have preferred a set of targeted discussions which try to fix processes, improve communication channels and inspire a new round leaders of Ubuntu LoCo teams. Not everything you do in a LoCo team has to be approved by the entire set of other teams, actual reality in the LoCo world is quite different from that.
If you have ideas to discuss or suggestions, feel free to join our loco-contacts mailing list and bring it up there! It’s your chance to hang out with a lot of fun people from around the globe. 🙂