Listen to your people

What these days happens with Siemens and the internal blog of CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, is a turning point in the discussion about CEO-blogs in Germany, I suppose. As a friend said yesterday, when I talked to him in the IM: "Open Communications are not that easy....." Kleinfeld gets several dirty comments of his people, because his salery will rise some 30%, while Siemens is still displacing employees. Some of these comments found their way to german media.

When you write a blog - internal or external - you have to stand criticism and rant and comments. If you really prefer this ugly oldschool topdown model of communication, you should not blog. Perhaps you should not communicate anymore...

But I think, you can't blame the blog for the problem. People are talking and chatting anyway - wether you hear them or not. With these comments in Kleinfeld's blog, they can be seen - and I think, that's good enough.

As Jan Erik Meyer says in a comment:
Das Übel liegt weit vor den Blogs und fand bisher eine Verbreitung über die Pausengespräche der Mitarbeiter oder (zu selten) die Aufmerksamkeit eines guten Journalisten.
(The problem has evolved long before blogs, when employees chatted in their coffee breaks - or (rarely) when a clever journalist was listening)
Blogs, even Intranet-CEO-Blogs, are a good way to aggregate discussions, that rumore in your company. But if you don't want employees, clients, consumers to speak frankly, you should not blog. First change your way of thinking - then your way of speaking. And listen to your people. We are listening to them anyway...

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