When we asked Jaime Bejarano, the leader for Colombia at Red Hat, to tell us the first thing that came to mind when he heard the words "hierarchy" and "organization charts", he did not hesitate long before answering "stagnant" and a "conservative" character. For the executive, who has been in the technology world for 30 years, the last 4 have been one of constant learning in a space in which the Open Source (open source) it is more than an area of industry. If it were an ad campaign from the late XNUMXth century, you could say that open source is 'a way of life'.
And although they were not the words that Bejarano used (surely they are very eighties for a company and an executive with a vision that always points to the future), can be the easiest way to describe the attributes of open source that are present in the DNA of Red Hat, and that make it a company different from others in the same industry: «What we do as an organization today is a product of how communities develop software, develop innovation, and share it. What features are there? Empowerment, leadership (and leadership by suitability), courage to act, openness, socialization, collaboration and cooperation. Our organization is based on four values that have to do with openness, courage, commitment and responsibility to make this model flow and to contribute to society«.
Jaime Bejarano was one of the guests at Technologies to the rescue of companies in Colombia, an event held by Impacto TIC on September 10, in which industry experts spoke about the different tools that companies of any sector and size have to face the difficult moments they are currently experiencing and to accelerate their development in general.
In the speech of the leader of Red Hat in Colombia there is not only a criticism of the concept of hierarchy as it is understood in other contexts and organizations, but there is also the solution. It's about the redarchy. "This is an idea -Explain- that it has been taking a lot of strength and that I have no doubt that companies are considering it after seeing the reality that we are living today«.
On a day-to-day basis, Bejarano explains, this concept refers to a type of management that works in interdisciplinary groups led by the most suitable people, who have the empowerment to make decisions and execute.
«When we have a project, internally we hold meetings to see how it evolves and how we can continue to support the client, and the people who lead those meetings do not do so because of the role or position they hold, but because of the involvement and leadership they have in the project. The rest of us who participate, regardless of the role, are collaborators of the team to work with. On a global level, there are things that really amaze. Here in the organization, people can write an email directly to the president of the company and he responds to it, and he can put in that email the topics he deems well; Even if he had a different or distant opinion or approach, they are raised, they talk, and there are no taboos or untouchable topics«.
This 'lifestyle', in which freedom is valued for people to give their opinion to improve things, is not usually present in hierarchical organizations, in which many times there is a myth or a myth. the habit that orders or ideas come from the top down, explains Jaime Bejarano. And he adds that what has almost always been proven in day-to-day development is that many of the great ideas that transform the world come from below. «Because we are the collaborators who are in the field who have the details of things and we can provide a cleaner, more efficient or more suitable solution. In that sense, I think that this is something that Colombian organizations, which are sometimes a little hierarchical, should consider«.
Working in this culture allows Red Hat employees to be satisfied, because their experience is as important to the company as that of the customers. «All organizations should take into account this concept [that of redarchy], because today's companies need to be agile, and a hierarchical and heavy structure sometimes goes against agility. Not always, but many times it happens«.
'Unlearning' and learning in the open source world
The impact of the redarquía in Red Hay and Jaime Bejarano is the greatest learning that has remained in the years that the executive has been in the company. Thanks to him, he has understood that the reason is not the role, but the person who has the arguments regardless of their position in the company.
«I also learned that the sum of the parts makes us more powerful and more powerful. This open source model brings out the best in everyone who participates in it. And it makes innovation and execution more powerful than if one is in a model in which there are 2 or 3 people who have the responsibility of designing and creating, because no matter how good they are, they will never have the capacity of thousands and millions of people. they are working on something«.
For this reason, today, Bejarano is convinced that contributing and collaborating is essential for the success of companies: «Many times we are thinking in silos or competitions, or that we are competitors. I believe that today the reality that we are living shows us more that we must be cooperative and collaborative, and that if we are, we will all win. We are all going to be better«.
As for the open source industry, the Red Hat executive has also had to confront and overcome myths such as security -These technologies are as or more secure than other types of technologies; They are very reliable because they are made by people who are not into technology for business, but for passion, and that makes a big difference in the product that is built–.
«They are also very stable and highly scalable products. The processing power is really very, very, very robust; I had not seen these capabilities in other environments. Today on Linux I would say that the main core systems run not only in the country, but in the world«.
And another myth that has seen its collapse is the one that claims that open source technologies are only for small businesses: «Large companies are not only users of these technologies, but with their decisions they generate followers. Large companies have embraced open source technologies in a determined, broad, deep, massive way, and I think that in the small and medium business markets, open source is still a great option. Not just at Red Hat, but across the open source ecosystem, installations have grown more than 500% in the last 4-5 years. That is an indisputable sign of acceptance, growth, tranquility and confidence that everyone is seeing, feeling in this type of technology.«.
"More than 99% of the main companies in the country use open source in one way or another and more and more intensely, and I would say that in medium and small companies the percentages are not different."Jaime Bejarano, leader of Red Hat in Colombia
Here you can see the full interview with Jaime Bejarano during Technologies to the rescue of companies in Colombia, in which he also spoke about Red Hat technologies and open source in general.