Big Bang theory for blogs
Seth in "I bet you think this post is about you" is writing about a thin slice of the corporate blog world, the lone blogger that blogs about the organization.
Seth, "Ego is the biggest reason that corporate blogging may be an oxymoron. Working for the man often means subsuming your ego to that of the organization, and blogging makes that difficult. It's one reason that there have been high profile firings of corporate bloggers at places like Goggle. It's hard to have two voices (the writer's and the shareholders') competing and often conflicting."
This may be counter-intuitive to current thinking on corporate blogging, but it is our opinion that instead of just a few bloggers, every employee should have a blog to share ideas and opinions. They don't all have to be public, but the ones that do should follow guidelines.
Seth continues, ..."if you don't want to share the ideas you admire, you're being selfish, aren't you?"
Yes, and that is just plain stupid! Businesses grow and move forward with ideas; those left untapped or ignored usually result in the wrong kind of change. What's more, businesses need those conflicts to spark the creative energy - Big Bang - to develop ideas that can help the business grow, both internally and externally. John Seely Brown and John Hagel call it productive friction in their new book, "The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends On Productive Friction and Dynamic Specialization."
PC Forum: Moving from friction-free to productive friction by ZDNet's Dan Farber is an interview with Mr. Brown and Mr. Hagel. If you don't have time for the book, you can find the Harvard Business Review article here Productive Friction: How Difficult Business Partnerships Can Accelerate Innovation (pdf $6.00 - worth it).
"The notion of productive friction has major implications..." Hagel said "the combination of service-oriented architecture (loosely coupled), virtualization and social software (a shared collaborative workspace like Wikis [Blogs, Forums, Group Chat]) is key to developing a work culture that can support productive friction and facilitate conflict resolution, allowing the stakeholders to browse the context to figure out how to "unstuck" an exception (problem)."
Take this Silicon Valley situation for example from Silicon Valley Watcher "A Silicon Valley Veteran offers an explanation on top marcoms shuffles at top tech companies", where several high-profile communications professionals are leaving their organizations, in many cases, because: "In my 20 years toiling away in marketing and corporate communications roles, I've seen time and again that whenever an organization is undergoing significant change and faces more than the usual set of business challenges [somebody was not listening to the stakeholders], the tendency is to park many of the problems at the feet of the senior communications person, who is given the job of "fixing up" the company's image."
Fix it right now! "...the organization has been on a steady decline or in a state of churn over a period of quarters — and the problems are usually more than superficial. Often they're systemic."
I suppose management lost touch with the realities of the business. Perhaps they stopped listening to employees, stakeholders, management or didn't from the get-go. Without gaining context and meaning by listening to the diversity of it's internal voices, the business simply lost direction. Having too few voices just does not cut it anymore and it certainly doesn't do diddly squat for innovation.