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Archive for November, 2015


OHRMCon: Engage Disruption

Posted in General  by Shaun Bradley No Comments

From information technology to automobiles, disruption is a game-changer.  Taking on the topic of change, Lee Congdon discussed industry challenges during OHRMCon, held in New York City during the first week in October.

Headquartered in North Carolina, the Red Hat enterprise is 8,000 associates strong and operates in the Czech Republic, and from office and remote locations across the globe.

Looking beyond traditional HR solutions to serve its interests, Red Hat’s first go-live with OrangeHRM leave management products took place in January, 2011. Deployed in 26 countries, OrangeHRM’s platform solved compliance and leave problems that occur when associates are sometimes 10 time zones apart.  Red Hat and OrangeHRM serve as catalysts for community-based development models—structuring adaptive solutions through open source.

In his keynote presentation at OHRMCon, Mr. Congdon discussed a world rapidly shifting from an industrial to information-based society.  Several industries are undergoing fundamental shifts due to the advent of new tech, including:

  • Information:  From print to digital, and back, modes to create and disseminate information are in flux.  Each tech innovation means new business opportunities at many levels.
  • Music:  From vinyl to immersion in virtual reality, music is undergoing dramatic change.  The era when songs were purchased, owned, and traded, gave way to downloaded songs, which is giving way to screen rental to play your favorite song of the moment.
  • Transportation:  Uber, smart cars, and automation are literally driving transportation options into a completely new paradigm.
  • Production:  Repetitive and analytic work once done by humans is giving way to automation and machine learning.  From building cars, to suggesting a medical diagnosis, the use of robotics and artificial intelligence eliminates some jobs while boosting others. Machine learning is an integral part of Watson, a technology that underpins OrangeHRM’s ATS Project Nova.
  • Automated resources:  Transportation, event, and service planning is taken care of online with choices of when, where, how, what color, and how much.  For many kinds of purchases, the balance of information has shifted from vendor to consumer.

New developments are fueling a relentless cycle of tech innovation.  Through customer tracking, Amazon can make irresistible offers on bundled merchandise—and deliver products rapidly to your door.  Marketing automation harvests consumer data that allows web retailers to offer individual pricing options designed to spur purchases.  With a smartphone in the pocket or purse, shopping anonymity is becoming a thing of the past.

Use disruption to drive innovation

So how does enterprise thrive and survive in a volatile, rapidly changing marketplace? At least two things are key—disruption and speed.

The cost of disruption is falling fast.  While it used to cost millions to get a new product to market, today, two entrepreneurs working in a garage could create the next unicorn start-up.  To survive—enterprise must adapt, often by disruption.

Earlier Mr. Congdon talked about the power of the open organization  to cultivate innovation and drive change.  While disrupting your company is difficult, changing company culture drives needed change.  Here are some questions to consider:

  1. What is your vision, who are the disruptors, and what are your people doing to get to the next thing?  Even if you have experts on the industry side, you need experts on the information side to visualize potential movement through new tech where appropriate.
  2. Will your culture get you where you need to be?  Do your people, mission, and strategy align?  If not, how can you adjust?
  3. How can you do it faster?
  4. What is your next disruptive investment?  Within individual, team, enterprise, or industry—how can you make it happen?

Disruption is not just for industry anymore.  It is for the individual, the workforce, and company culture.  Engage disruption to innovate, develop institutional resilience—and get to market faster.


Keynote Points of Lee Congdon from OHRMCon: On the Open Organization

Posted in General  by Shaun Bradley No Comments

Speaking at OHRMCon in New York last month, Red Hat CIO Lee Congdon offered insight into the open organization and the shift from an industrial to information-based marketplace.

Adaptation is a key driver of relevant, competitive enterprise.  During his keynote address at OHRMCon, the first conference devoted to open source, Mr. Congdon spoke about the open organization as a vehicle to cultivate ideas, increase agility, and remain competitive amidst rapid change.

Through enterprise and partnering, Red Hat offers technological solutions to companies of all size, from mom and pop companies to the top ten of the Fortune 500.

As an open organization, Red Hat leverages company culture to engage employees, develop solutions, and meet marketplace demands. While open source is not usually equated with financial success, the Red Hat enterprise continues to grow, and expects revenue near $2 billion this year.

With 8,000 associates, more than half of the Red Hat workforce resides outside the United States, in more than 80 geographic locations. Approximately 20 to 25 percent of its associates work remotely.  Red Hat operates on open source, using patents to protect its proprietary tech solutions.

Cultural characteristics at Red Hat include:

  • An engaged workforce:  Using surveys, business tools, coaching and other methods, Red Hat works hard at maintaining the engagement of its employees at all levels.  Engagement means employees are passionate about their jobs, corporate mission, and the collective vision of the company.
  • Collaboration:  Working collaboratively on enterprise projects, and shared decision making, is a hallmark of the Red Hat open organization.  Red Hat associates communicate and maintain connection through email, text, chat, business, social, and other tools.
  • Open decision making:  While open decision making takes longer than a traditional top-down approach, Mr. Congdon detailed its advantages. General corporate decisions are often published to associates via email in draft form, with a comment period to follow.  Comments received from employees offer valuable information to decision makers on refinements to, or disagreements with, proposed change. This iterative decision-making process continues for a set period, after which an executive with authority makes a final decision.  While that decision may not meet demands—it reduces or eliminates pushback when everyone has an opportunity to add to the conversation.
  • Talent acquisition:  Engaged associates identify and help onboard talent.  As competition for talent goes global, recruiting time and costs are reduced when associates are able to recommend hires in the open source community.

Notes Mr. Congdon, in an open organization, the best solutions or ideas could come from any level of the organization.  Passion and commitment to vision—and culture—give Red Hat needed tools to remain agile in a rolling marketplace environment.


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