“Everyone’s talking about the importance of engaging employees, and the Facebook generation and collaboration tools. All of that is garbage … collaboration is a culture. It’s not a set of tools,” insists Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst.
Executives at other companies might tell human resources to go out and buy collaboration tools, but unless the company has the structure in place to let employees honestly talk to each other and the bosses, the tools won’t help.
That may not be what companies like Box.net, Jive, Yammer, Asana, and many others who are selling enterprise social media tools want to hear. But Whitehurst makes a good point.
You can’t buy your way to collaboration. If employees are not already working that way, tools become nothing more than a high-tech version of the never-used suggestion box.
Red Hat is just about to become the first and only open source company to post $1 billion in annual revenue and because of its open source roots, everything about the company is one giant collaboration.
It was a culture shock for Whitehurst himself when he first took the CEO job a few years ago. He cut his teeth on the military-like culture at Delta Airlines. Now he sits in pretty much the same kind of cubicle as every other employee who works at Red Hat.
Read more tips from Whitehurst: Management Tips From Red Hat’s Crazy Culture Every Company Should Steal