Posting Of Sensitive Documents
Much angst and concern exists in corporate social media projects around this issue — everyone wants to encourage more sharing and collaboration, but not every internal document is meant for every employee’s eyes.
And there’s no easy answer.
Push the pendulum too far in one direction, you’ll end up with hundreds or thousands of gated discussions that just end up being a fancy dumping ground for documents that no one can read, and no one can discuss.
We’ve lived in this world, we don’t want to go back to it.
Push the pendulum too far in the other direction, and there will be a backlash against the corporate social media problem. It’s a reality of the corporate world that not everything can be shared with everyone.
We’d like to avoid onerous corporate policies, content review processes, etc. — all the 1.0 backlashes that can result when people think something has gotten a bit out of control.
Yet, they createdIntellipedia which has had a huge effect on their ability to accomplish their mission. The issue is risk management, not risk avoidance.
Making everything open is not really management, or it is the weakest form of management. Just as keeping everything closed is not really management either. The key is finding a level of risk management that actually enhances the efforts.
A particular problem of these technologies is that they are often started by individuals that want to enhance their own productivity. They put up documents because it helps them and their groups. But this is where problems happen.
A very senior individual in the organization expresses significant concern and anxiety for posting of sensitive document — and isn’t quite sure how to handle the situation.
Posting individual makes a strong case for increased information sharing across the organization as a part of better business practices and the general good. In theory, yes, but …
Very senior individual makes a strong case for more restrictive policies, review, enforcement, policing, etc. of the social platform. Wants to do the right thing, but damage exceeds benefit in their eyes now.
Put plainly, if you’re in charge of a business unit or function, you should have some say in what sort of things get broadly shared, and what sort of things have a more limited internal audience.
And having an internal social media platform with lots of proficient people who tend to share everything they come across shouldn’t take that measure of control from those senior individuals.
Social media is supposed to empower people, and not render them powerless. And that list of empowered people should include very senior managers and executives.
And as we respect control more, those in responsible positions will respect freedom more. And remember this,
Mistakes Will Be Made
Many of us who are active on the social platform have made the same mistake — we’ve broadly shared something we thought was interesting, but we missed the fact that someone who has responsibility might not agree with us.
The recovery formula is pretty simple:
– immediately apologize and admit the mistake
– offer to take the document immediately down
– acknowledge their concerns and right to control certain kinds of information being widely shared
– express a sincere intent to do better in the future
– and apologize again