Choosing Meritocracy, Not Democracy

Most people understand how decisions are made in a hierarchy. You don’t have to know the specific people in the organization. All you have to see is the organization chart. In general, the higher on the chart, the more say a person has. If an issue cannot be resolved at one level of the hierarchy, it moves up until there’s just one decision maker. It’s neat and orderly. But what happens when you work in an organization that isn’t a top-down hierarchy? Who makes what decisions? How are disagreements adjudicated?

Red Hat still has organization charts, but how we make decisions doesn’t necessarily follow that structure. We have modeled ourselves less on the familiar, traditional corporate hierarchy model and ...

Get The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.