Do Corporations Really Get Blogging?

I’m currently (informally) leading a team of people that reside in: England, Germany, Italy, China, Brazil, America, and Finland. None of the typical communication tools (email, webex, IM) could do what I needed them to do.  So, I set up a SharePoint community site for the team that has a blog.  I wanted to create a less formal environment for people to get comfortable with each other and loosen up.

The project that we’re working on requires people to be creative and take risks and that just doesn’t happen unless people feel safe.  Sharing new ideas–especially in a corporate environment with many cultures–is scary.  And, while all the corporate messages say that we need to be more innovative, we don’t really reward people for taking chances or slowing down to think about the future.  I guess it is one thing to say you value creativity and another thing to demonstrate that.

It reminds me of the Ken Robinson TED video that Alex Reid referred to in his article, Why Blog? Searching for Writing on the Web.  Robinson believes that while our schools are trying to maximize students’ potential, they are really killing creativity and valuing the wrong things.

I know that he is talking about schools, but I think it’s true in companies too.  It is in mine.  Maybe our schools have been so successful in quashing the creativity out of us that we can’t innovate to save our lives.

My hope was that blogging would help foster the right environment and rekindle that creativity, but I think I’m just doing it wrong.  I want to keep it loose, but somehow my posts end up reading like legal disclaimers.  I just don’t know what will fly.  Blogs are informal, but companies are not.  What is the right tone?

Posted on September 15, 2012, in Creative, Trust, Workplace. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Your last paragraph raises a great point because it really does depend on the company. I know several MSTPC students who mention their workplaces only want to rely on Microsoft tools like SharePoint and blogs behind their intranet wall [if I am phrasing that right] while others are perhaps too eager to join the web 2.0 revolution and try too much, Twitter, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, etc. What’s the best strategy? I’m hoping that the readings in this course open our eyes to ways to balance the private and public content!

    • Thanks! I hope so too. They give us the tools and tell us that we should use them to connect with our colleagues throughout the company, but there is still this lingering perception that a blog is a self indulgent activity (unless its boring). It’s like if you are writing a blog, then you’re not working.

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