The downside of corporate transparency
Ars Technica chronicles Google’s recent employee blogging snafus (Google vs Sicko, its alleged promotion of spam) and explores the tension that can arise between the desire to be democratic and transparent and the need to protect a company’s image:
“Google’s current approach of using blogs as both a means of casual communication and a formal channel for announcing products and events, while laudably democratic, paints a large (and constantly growing) target for reporters and other Google watchers who are looking for evidence of Evil—whether real or manufactured—within Google’s corporate structure and business plans.”
The company is undoubtedly experiencing the downside of transparency, but I hope the experience doesn’t cause it to change its approach. Most corporate blogging policies that I’ve seen advise employees to use their best judgment and consider the consequences before posting (here‘s Sun’s). I can’t help thinking that had the authors of these two posts exercised just a little bit more common sense and judgment, these ‘crises’ could have been averted.