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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wiki's and the New Employment Relationship

I was watching a video from Jack Welch today and his take on WikiLeaks, and how it impacts those of us in Society and in Business.

He makes some great points.

For the average citizen, Julian Assange exposed a number of secrets that exposed the government in ways they would have never wanted to be seen... Many applauded him as standing up against 'big brother' and facing him head on.

The government... Well he pissed 'em off plain and simple... Not only did he read their diary, but he shared it with the world!

But what about those of us in business?

As Jack Welch says, "Trade secrets are trade secrets - there is no way you want them outside the company."

Like the recipe for Coca-Cola, there are some secrets that provide the competitive advantage companies need to stay in business and giving them away is grounds for punishment!

So how do we overcome this?

Well internally, everything the company does should have buy-in and people should know the reasons why things are happening the way they are... Albeit this is not always easy.

Also, it should be defined what is internal knowledge (not for sharing) and confidentiality agreements need to be signed.

Externally, listen to stakeholder and consumer opinions.  Think of how the actions you are taking will be perceived.  The perception of a company can change over night... Look no further than BP.

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