“In giver cultures, employees operate as the high-performing intelligence units do: helping others, sharing knowledge, offering mentoring, and making connections without expecting anything in return. Meanwhile, in taker cultures, the norm is to get as much as possible from others while contributing less in return. Employees help only when they expect the personal benefits to exceed the costs, as opposed to when the organizational benefits outweigh the personal costs.”
Adam Grant in his article Givers take all: The hidden dimension of corporate culture.
The highest-performing teams that I’ve worked with have had strong giver cultures, in line with Adam Grant’s comment above. They have needed to because the size of the task and the breadth of the required skills have far superseded the number of team members. Each colleague has felt compelled to give to their team as a means of collective achievement.
Put simply, an OSS team is even more reliant than most teams on having a giving culture. The team and the product rely on the ability to make connections and share knowledge, neither of which occur within a taker culture.
How do you promote the existence of a giver culture? Start by giving more of yourself. If you want it, give it! If you have knowledge within your domain/s, share them.