INSTANT MBA: Democracy Isn't Always The Best Option In Business

Red Hat CEO Jim WhitehurstRed Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst

Photo: AP

Today’s advice comes from Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst in this interview with The New York Times.

“Engaging people in how decisions are getting made means it can take forever to get decisions made. But once you make a decision, you get flawless execution because everybody’s engaged. They know what you’re doing and they know why you’re doing it.”

Whitehurst says there is a culture of “meritocracy” at Red Hat, a provider of Linux and open source technology. Everyone is able to voice their opinions, but it doesn’t mean there has to be consensus on every decision.

After letting everyone debate, Whitehurst takes everything into consideration and then makes a decision. Even though everyone won’t necessarily agree with the final decision, they’ll be glad they got a chance to put in their two cents. 

“A voice doesn’t mean decision rights. It doesn’t mean you have any say in the answer. But at least you have a vehicle for an opinion to be heard.”

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