On Wired, Clive Thompson has a provocative article The See-Through CEO about the value of radical transparency achieved through CEO blogging…
Pretend for a second that you’re a CEO. Would you reveal your deepest, darkest secrets online? Would you confess that you’re an indecisive weakling, that your colleagues are inept, that you’re not really sure if you can meet payroll? Sounds crazy, right? After all, Coke doesn’t tell Pepsi what’s in the formula. Nobody sane strips down naked in front of their peers. But that’s exactly what Glenn Kelman did. And he thinks it saved his business.
You’ve gotta read that now, right? Go here to see it.
And while you’re at it, this history of Microsoft’s Channel 9 is a good case study of how blogging, and especially video blogging, can help key audiences better understand a company. If you think your company is basically doing things right, transparency like this can help the world see it. And if you’ve got problems, it can help even more…by shining the light on things that need to change, and showing that you’re open to solutions. Let your stakeholders help find them.
Interestingly, Thompson’s article was written “in the buff,” so to speak. He did it out in the open and asked for comments, which made the final product stronger. Not the way to do it if you’re looking for a “scoop,” but a way to take advantage of engaged readers to bring different facts and points of view into focus.