The Open Organization community maintains openly licensed, working definitions of concepts central to its work.

Anyone can help improve them. Join the Open Organization community on GitHub to get started.

The Open Organization Definition

Forward-thinking organizations are embracing open principles in order to become more agile, innovative, and engaged. The Open Organization Definition outlines five characteristics of open organizations—transparency, inclusivity, adaptability, collaboration, and community—and explains how they can serve as a foundation for new organizational behaviors, systems, and structures.

Maturity model

How open is your organization? The Open Organization Maturity Model can help you assess your team, department, and organization. Use the tool and download the text.

Illustrated guide

A full-color, illustrated version of The Open Organization Definition is available at

The Open Leadership Definition

Open organizations need open leaders, people who let open principles guide their approach to crafting organizational vision, setting organizational strategy, and reinforcing organizational culture. But what really makes open leadership different from other styles of leadership? The Open Leadership Definition describes the mindsets and behaviors that distinguish open leaders from other types of leaders—what these leaders think and do to create more open organizations every day. It’s an accessible, practical guide to becoming the type of leader capable of motivating, assisting, and empowering others to build organizations capable of great things.