The March 2007 issue of Backbone Magazine is on a newsstand near you and has an article by Ian Harvey called CEOs should blog - But be careful, and don't be boring. I was fortunate to be interviewed for the article. Welcome to those of you who found this blog in that way.
It's always interesting (and strange) to be mentioned in an article with the likes of Mark Cuban (Blog Maverick), Jonathan Schwartz (Jonathan's Blog) of Sun Microsystems and Debbie Weil (BlogWrite for CEOs). I've also now discovered a blog by Sass Peress, CEO of Montreal based ICP Solar (Sun Bits).
I've also followed Jim Estill, CEO of SYNNEX Canada blog (CEO Blog - Time Leadership) for quite some time (check out Jim's recent posts on blogging Top 10 Reasons to Have a Blog and Top 10 Reasons NOT to Blog).
I'd like to pick up on one of Jim's comments. Reason #1 for not having a blog is "Legal: most lawyers will advise that it is not a good idea". I think there's truth in that. Lawyers, as a group are, to varying degrees, conservative (that's probably our strength and our weakness), and if asked would say that employee blogs are a bad idea. I believe that this is partly driven by "fear of the unknown".
Here's where I come down on this.
In my practice, I know that the great majority of employees will exercise common sense and good judgment in their dealings with their employer, whether in their use of technology or otherwise. Of course, I have seen a lot of terrible things, including where employees use technology for some improper purpose. Technology is a very powerful medium, and many employers have an instinctive desire to control it.
But the reality, I believe, is that employers can't ever fully protect themselves from the "rogue" employee who chooses to use technology to further their own purposes. Employers can, and should, put in place policies and practices that minimize the risk. They can, and should, educate employees about the proper use of technology, but, in the end, it comes down to trust (after all, as the legion of employment cases say, trust rests at the foundation of the employment relationship and once shaken is not easily restored).
Creating a corporate culture where trust is earned and respect is expected, where employees are encouraged to innovate without being constrained by a fear of "failing", and where trying new things is the norm, rather than the exception, will, I believe, go a long way in ensuring that common sense will prevail when it comes to blogs and otherwise.
Thanks again to Ian and Backbone magazine for including me in the article.