Entering text into the input field will update the search result below

Red Hat Submits A Job Application

May 18, 2015 11:07 AM ETRed Hat, Inc. (RHT)5 Comments
Dana Blankenhorn profile picture
Dana Blankenhorn


  • CEO Jim Whitehurst's "The Open Organization" is the best business book of the year.
  • The idea is that the best corporations maximize human capital, and Whitehurst has a roadmap for that.
  • Buy Whitehurst, buy Red Hat, buy people and companies like them.

The most important business book of 2015 is The Open Organization, by Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) CEO Jim Whitehurst. I received a pre-release copy. The official release date is May 26.

Designed as a call to corporate action, it also acts as a long-form job application, possibly for Whitehurst, but also for his company.

Whitehurst, who was formerly Chief Operating Officer at Delta Air Lines (DAL) during its bankruptcy trial of the last decade, got "fire" at Red Hat, which he joined in 2007. Like a caveman returning with the secret of cooking, he writes with the passion of a convert about an organizational model that stands the hierarchies of Alfred Sloan's General Motors (GM) on its head but which works very, very well in today's highly-computerized age.

When high-value analytics can be brought to every worker's fingers, the old-style organizational structure becomes inefficient, Whitehurst writes. You want only employees who are mission-oriented, dedicated to what the company is all about, and you want to empower them to fulfill that mission, weeding out those who aren't so dedicated.

This doesn't just work in technology, where teams of programmers need to be empowered to meet impossible deadlines and come up with innovations. It also works at companies like Costco (COST), where everyone who works in the store is part of the same family. The resulting salary structures are also less hierarchical - Costco's strength isn't that line cashiers make $11/hour; it's that store managers make just $25/hour and will act as cashiers if that's needed. Whitehurst also cites Starbucks (SBUX) as a place where stores are run by teams, meaning no one is isolated from the store's mission.

In an open organization, Whitehurst writes, the job of management is to ignite passion among workers and to be accountable to them. It's also to define the

This article was written by

Dana Blankenhorn profile picture
Dana Blankenhorn http://www.danablankenhorn.com has been a business journalist since 1978, and a futurist all his life.He warned about the coming Houston oil collapse in 1979. He began making a living on the Internet in 1985. He launched the first e-commerce daily for CMP in 1994, warned of the coming dot-bomb at a-clue.com in 1997 and began covering the Internet of Things in 2003.Along the way he's written for a host of newspapers, magazines, news services and Web sites. Most recently he was at TheStreet.com, covering technology and investments. He still has time for freelance assignments. He lives in Atlanta.

Analyst’s Disclosure: The author is long COST, SBUX. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

Recommended For You

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.