Culture is something that is talked about a lot when it comes to the workplace. It can be what attracts people to a company in the first place and it is what keeps associates at an organization in the long run. And let’s be clear, culture is about much more than free snacks and ping pong tables. It’s about how we work together. But creating and maintaining a culture takes work and it’s something we take seriously at Red Hat. And it’s with that in mind that I’m proud to share that we’ve been ranked #3 on IDG's Insider Pro and Computerworld’s list of "2021 Best Places to Work in IT."

Since joining as CIO five years ago, my focus has been on bringing the Red Hat culture to life with the IT organization in an authentic and pragmatic way that we can live day in and day out. However, it’s not something I can do on my own, it takes buy-in and support from the entire team. I am a firm believer that culture is something that emanates from the top. If our leaders aren’t embodying the environment we say we want, it won’t be reflected in the day-to-day for our associates.  

The Red Hat culture is built on the open source principles of transparency, collaboration, community, trust and the idea that the best ideas can come from anywhere. In IT we put a lot of emphasis on the last two. Part of that is the idea that leaders need to grant autonomy to members of their teams. To me, that lays the foundation of trust and hopefully inspires people to do their best work. At Red Hat, we have a very open, collaborative process where we attempt to engage everybody in our planning and our execution process. Ultimately we have found that when people are brought into the vision, they’ll stay. It’s about feeling attracted and contributing to the mission, that’s our biggest retention strategy and what we believe makes people want to be a part of our team..

We are in an interesting time in terms of ITs role within companies. IT is a crucial part of any organization, especially as technology advances and every company has become a technology company. And because of our open way of working, our IT team is able to be agile, moving quickly and making decisions to move our processes and technology forward. This was of particular importance as we had to adapt in the face of COVID-19. 

The pandemic has been the ultimate forcing function for IT teams across the business landscape. We were in a fortunate position when the pandemic began because we had already embraced distributed working in order to be able to tap into a larger talent pool and not be limited to physical office space. We were already used to working with distributed teams with nearly 30% of Red Hat associates working remotely around the world. 

Beyond how we work together, what we work on is really what makes Red Hat, Red Hat. As a company, our mission centers around making open hybrid cloud a reality. The pandemic just accelerated that. The cloud has been an important innovation in that it’s given technology leaders, and CIOs in particular, the ultimate in choice, flexibility, and innovation to take advantage of like we’ve never been able to before. It’s confirmation of our strategy that customers should embrace hybrid cloud to sustain themselves, grow, and innovate. But this strategy involves taking care of what is in place today, as well as having a watchful eye on what is coming in the future. That’s why our teams need to be flexible and agile so we can adapt to changes as they come. 

We’re always looking to add talented associates to Red Hat and IT. Take a look at our IT job openings here if you’re interested in joining the team. 

About the author

As Chief Information Officer, Mike Kelly is responsible for leading the information technology (IT) organization at Red Hat Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions. Since joining the organization in 2016, Kelly has focused on leading the IT team as they provide the tools and technologies that enable Red Hatters every day.

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