I’ve just been watching Laura Thomson’s excellent talk “Minimum Viable Bureaucracy” on air.mozilla.org. She talks about “chaordic” management. “Chaords” are a combination of chaos and order, and a chaordic, bottom-up management style is enabled (in part, and to summarize) by trusting people who work for you, and letting them get on with it.
Trust needs to be earned, but Laura said that we need to assume that people have earned trust by passing through the hiring process, and therefore once they are a colleague of yours, you should simply trust them.
I can see the wisdom in that advice in the context of an ordinary company, but it made me think: what sort of trust have they earned in this scenario? It seems rather like they could earn “MoCo trust” that way, but not “whole community trust”. MoCo employees have more visibility into, and are more likely to trust the MoCo hiring process than non-employees. Unless the MoCo hiring process were very open and participatory, which it is not. (Doubtless for good legal reasons.) And if new employees are treated as if they’ve already earned the trust of the peers who surround them in the office, would they be less inclined to see a need to earn “whole community trust” as well? Does it subtly reinforce the employee/non-employee divide, and make it harder to be a core contributor as a non-employee, because inter-employee relationships are assumed-trust, and other relationships are not?