How open-source values can shape a company’s culture


Open source is built on the pillars of collaboration, flexibility, and transparency, and without these the entire open-source ecosystem would collapse. So how can these values shape a company’s culture?

A study showed that 88% of employees believe that workplace culture is important to the overall success of a business. However, this same report also claimed that one in three employees believe their employer doesn’t take company culture seriously. Good workplace culture doesn’t just help businesses to attract and maintain talent, but it can also lead to a company’s financial success. Firms with a strong culture are reported to enjoy a four times increase in revenue growth.


Collaboration is crucial to success – both in open source and within a company’s workforce. In open-source, challenges are opportunities, and problems are solutions. Every challenge is an opportunity to grow, so encouraging teams to approach problems as goals to overcome as a team, rather than obstacles in the way of an individual will have a  significant impact. Encouraging staff to accept coaching and to coach others will ensure your team is the best it can be. A collaborative environment means that team members are more likely to foster discussions to create solutions that will drive a company’s success. The results can be extremely impactful. Remember, your team is here because they are talented and that talent is greater if they work together.

A good way to nurture collaboration is to host regular social events. Encourage employees to break down communication barriers and build relationships in an informal setting.


In open-source, developers earn respect by taking accountability for what they produce. The same should be true for a company’s workforce.

For an open culture, employers must encourage employees to be honest and transparent, taking responsibility for their actions and work produced – good and bad. Not repeating mistakes is more important than not making them. Attributing blame is the least agile way to achieve goals and secure success.

A proven method for promoting accountability is to encourage teams to share work. Hold ‘Open Demonstrations’ where anyone can see a demonstration of the work someone else has completed. This is a good way to learn and for others to provide feedback, boosting all-important collaboration.


There is no one size fits all approach to open source. It’s about managing the skill and  expertise of many different developers across the globe to create a standout product, so flexibility is crucial.

Flexibility is as important in shaping company culture as it is in the open-source   community. Encouraging flexible working amongst teams allows employees to have   freedom and autonomy within their role. If you have succeeded in fostering a collaborative culture, staff will still feel supported knowing they can seek guidance from others when needed.

Yet flexibility doesn’t just have a positive impact on team members. It is also crucial for  clients. A flexible way of working means teams will find it easier to meet the requirements of clients as they change – a sure-fire way of producing solutions that fit their needs.

Striking the right balance with company culture is never easy. But it can be done with a  clear vision. As a global open source company, open source is at the core of everything we do. Embedding a cultural framework that aligns with open source’s core values was our way of creating high performing teams that work hard to achieve our goals and delight clients. If we can do it, so can you.

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A Senior technology leader with strong digital transformation experience specialising in strategic planning, product management, CRM and Open Source. With a track record of delivering goals within fast-growing organisations I pride myself in my people-focused approach enabling success through effective communication, coaching and goal setting . Currently CEO of SalesAgility a 40-person software consultancy and authors of SuiteCRM the leading Open Source CRM.