Open Source Means More Than Marketing
Organizations designed according to open-source principles embrace an open culture. The benefits are greater agility, increased innovative capacity, and improved employee engagement. Open source is a key driver of innovation, and it‘s hard to imagine the SAP world without it. Proven open-source solutions and principles are shaping modern business landscapes. The successful and proven methods from open-source software development are also increasingly affecting fundamental corporate processes and communication behavior, laying the foundation for an open culture.
Even if there are different manifestations of open culture, five components are essential: transparency, inclusivity, adaptability, collaboration, and community.
Transparency: An open organization thrives on transparency. This means that data is made readily available to both internal and external stakeholders insofar as it makes sense and is legally possible. In addition, decisions are transparent, so that all those affected can understand the processes and arguments behind the decision-making process. Work also becomes transparent, so everyone can see and assess the progress of a project at any time.
Inclusivity: Open organizations are characterized by inclusivity. Companies should value different points of view and take targeted measures to include as many different voices as possible in the decision-making process. Managers should regularly evaluate the feedback they receive and act on it – in other words, they should cultivate an active feedback culture.
Adaptability: Open organizations are characterized by flexibility and resilience. In a flexible organization, employees can manage, control, and potentially change their own working conditions. They practice a culture of error, which means that no one has to be afraid of making mistakes. Employees report regularly and transparently on the results of their work and make suggestions for adjustments or improvements. In principle, an open organization always has processes in place for collective problem solving and collaborative decision making.
Collaboration: Work in an open organization involves multiple parties by default. The parties involved should be convinced that working together leads to better and more effective results. Above all, they should also try to actively involve others in their work. The products of work in open organizations invite further improvement and revision, even when it involves people who are not part of the organization.
Community: An open organization is a community. Shared values and overarching goals determine the actions of individuals. At the same time, these values also define the working conditions. The basic values and principles that underlie the decision-making and assessment processes are clearly formulated. They also play a key role in determining how the organization defines success and failure.
Better ideas and solutions
Those who successfully go the open source way can benefit immensely from establishing an open culture. This also applies to SAP customers. It is important that they also encourage their partners, suppliers, and customers to live an open organizational and management culture in order to optimize collaboration and achieve better results together. More and more companies are now initiating this cultural change. Red Hat has led the way. Since its founding in 1993, the company has been known as an open organization. Red Hat has helped numerous companies change the way they work, and has shown, based on open source software, that open technologies lead to better ideas and solutions.