Unleashing Innovation through the Power of Participation

It is this participative movement that is accelerating the pace of innovation, and making open source the default choice for organizations

Participation innovation Rajesh Rege

Author

Rajesh Rege is MD, Red Hat India.

Participation drives innovation. Today, the most innovative ideas do not come from the boardroom; they come from ideas built from synergy of people working together. Leaders of all countries and industries see this trend. It’s no longer a question of it, but essentially a matter of how.

Today, we’re facing in a constant state of disruption and change. Asia Pacific is a great example, where sleepy towns and fishing villages are being transformed into cosmopolitan cities. But to truly succeed amid this sea of change demands both fresh and creative thinking. The answer is a confluence of open innovation, and the Power of Participation – the latter is the key theme for our series of Red Hat Forum events across Asia Pacific in 2016.

Synergy and empowerment

When you bring people from different organizations and disciplines together, and empower them with the freedom to collaborate, your ability to innovate instantly multiplies just like the underlying principle of open source, it’s never about finding the best solution from thousands of individuals, but rather harnessing the synergy and collective talent that’s available when we participate as a community.

Now let’s consider an orchestra, which consists of various musicians, each with a unique talent and instrument. To play beautiful music, the greatest conductors recognized that they not only need to bring these individuals together coherently, but also create all the right conditions (like relinquishing control) to achieve the best creative output from their team. “The worst damage I can do to my orchestra is to give them a clear instruction. Since it would have prevented the ensemble from listening to each other,” Itay Talgam, renowned Israeli conductor.

Embracing diversity

That same lesson applies to how we work. We can’t merely order people to “innovate”. As leaders, we need to create an environment where the seeds of innovation can flourish through participation. Diversity matters too, particularly for a multicultural region like Asia Pacific. The truth is, there will always be talents with new perspectives and experience outside our organizations and geographies.

By breaking down these barriers, we can all accomplish so much more together. We, at Red Hat, witness this amazing power of participation every day in the world of open source, where user–‐driven innovation powers advancements in cloud, big data, and emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. It is this participative movement that is accelerating the pace of innovation, and also making open source the default choice for organizations across the region. These include the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) and National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) which received the 2016 Red Hat Innovation Award in recognition for its innovative application of open source technology.

An inspiration for all

The benefits that organizations can receive from the power of participation and open source go far beyond technology. Both serve as an inspiration for a better future, changing what was previously impossible. What’s more, our ability to harness and stoke the creative capacity of billions around the world will “open new doors”, contributing to the betterment of the society well into the next century – that’s the real payoff from participation.

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