Repost from Cisco Collab Community #1

Posted by lewhite on Apr 11, 2011 3:10:33 PM
Link to original:

Dorothy and her friends didn’t listen when the Great and Powerful Oz told them to ignore that man behind the curtain. Sounds a lot like organizations today. Employees, customers and stakeholders don’t want the official version of things from the great and powerful, they want to see what is behind the curtain.


This is part of the reason that the idea of transparency is getting so much traction these days. Unfortunately it is not so easy to be transparent. I have seen many instances where it is the intent of an individual or group to be transparent, open and inclusive, the reality is usually a reticence to let go and divulge the full story. The reasoning varies:

  • I don’t want anyone to see it until it is finished
  • People can’t handle the truth (to paraphrase Jack Nicholson)
  • Everyone is too busy to get more information
  • Above your pay grade
  • We will give it to them when the timing is right


The truth is that these are all excuses for not wanting to give up control. And none of these reasons will deliver better results than just putting it all out in the open.


The major flaw in most major “change initiatives” is waiting too long before bringing “those to be changed” into the conversation. Anytime you see a situation where the first notice the general population gets about some big new change is during the “deployment and adoption phase”, you will see a high probably of failure of the initiative.


The right time to go public with a pending change is when there are still decisions to be made, and everyone has the chance to voice their opinion.


The enterprise social software (ESS) corollary of this is that everyone needs  a view into the process while the conversation is still about determining business needs, and prior to the determination of tools and process.  If the first time your employees hear about Quad or another ESS product is when it is being rolled out, your odds of success have been drastically reduced.



How to make your reputation NSFW

From 2008 to 2010 I tried my hand at independent consulting. Let’s just say it was a great learning experience and that I have now returned to the corporate world full-time with Cisco.

I need to tell the story of one last lesson learned from the experience of starting my own company.

As with any commercial venture these days, you have to start with a web presence, which I did. When I decided to shutter the operation, I also decided to pull down the web site. It could be debated whether that decision was good or bad. But what has clearly turned out to be a horrible decision was to relinquish the rights to my former company domain name!

It seems that shortly after I let it go, it was picked up by the sort of web site that, shall we say ,is NSFW. Oops!

I have been scrambling all morning erasing every link I can find to that address. The problem is Google and its rather long memory. Search for my old company and you find … NSFW.

I decided that in the spirit of openness and transparency, to make this situation public and a matter of record. So should anyone happen across that site and connect it with me, at least I can say and show that I did my best to break that connection.