June 6, 2017

How Tieto have unlocked the secret of open source culture

Daniel Penfold

Daniel Penfold, TBWA Helsinki

I’m not lucky enough to work at Tieto. But I have been fortunate enough to get a glimpse into the open source culture experienced daily by Tieto employees. So far it’s been a masterclass in reciprocity and approachability.

With the help of Tieto’s Sophia Boleckis, I have been coordinating the Life at Tieto blog. This has put me in touch with Tieto people from Pune, India, to Ostrava, Czech Republic. They’ve all been as helpful and awesome a bunch of people as you could hope to meet.

Embodying open source culture

I’ve never worked in IT. Never worked for a large corporation. So I had quite a few clichés floating around in my head as to what kind of company Tieto would most likely be. You know – the stereotypical bland and faceless organization, with worker drones trapped in cubicles, unable to break out and express themselves. Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Open source culture at Tieto is the real deal. It’s not just words; it’s exemplified in everything that Tieto does, from meetings to emails through to the very design of Tieto’s Helsinki HQ.

I’ve learnt that Tieto employees are passionate and innovative – each and every blogger that I’ve been in contact with is actively contributing to Tieto’s open source culture. Tieto employees are embodying the core tenet of open source culture – the belief that knowledge should be shared freely.

Adding value to every action

All of this got me thinking about the true value of open source culture. It’s something that takes years to build. It requires every single employee, no matter their positon, to participate, co-create and innovate - each and every day. And it’s one of the greatest assets a company can have. Why? Because a vital and thriving open source culture adds value to every action that an organization carries out.

Keeping an open culture thriving is no easy task. Once again, it needs everyone to pull together. Adaptability and agility are key. In the age of automation, it’s a truly human nexus. Just like a healthy ecosystem in the natural world, it requires heterogeneity, symbiosis, and sustainability. I’ve seen all of these things at Tieto. It’s an organization that expects the utmost from each employee – at Tieto every employee is a leader. I’ve had the opportunity to witness firsthand the benefits – both to the organization and to the individual – of this approach. The bloggers I’ve spoken to have all been super excited by the opportunities that this sort of transparency and open-mindedness allows.

A building like no other

I can’t sign off without saying something about Tieto’s HQ in Keilalahti. I can honestly say I’ve never seen an office building quite like this before. It’s a physical embodiment of open source culture. The entire campus is centered around the needs of employees. It fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and innovation, and you can feel this the moment you step through the door. I was even invited to work in one of the open areas!

Tieto bloggers, it’s been a blast. This is a sincere thank you for all you’ve taught me.

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