WikiLeaks Drives the Need for Transparency Home

We all know social media changes the game – both offensively and defensively. Offensively, the technology provides the opportunity to reach more people with more information faster and cheaper than ever before. Defensively, we can now hear people’s comments in real time and know what is being said about us. Mass communication is a much more democratic process. That means messy and accessible.

In this environment, transparency and authenticity becomes critical. Information travels quickly and freely between people and organizations. Nothing is secret anymore. Social media platforms make it possible to learn anything you want to know with either a PC or a smart phone. It’s impossible to manage a story or create a façade.

 WikiLeaks is driving that point home. In their latest high-profile leak, the website revealed internal State Department communications. Our diplomats thought their conversations were confidential and they made unflattering and unprofessional comments about foreign dignitaries. Those communications were discovered, disclosed, and posted to the Web. The reaction left our government scrambling to recover. 

Can your organization survive a similar incident? Do you embrace transparency and authenticity within your company? Personally? What if your confidential communications became public? Would those communications reveal professionalism and ethical conduct…or something else?

It takes hard work and consistent effort to create that environment. Leaders must set a clear vision and actively reinforce and clear set of values. They must consistently put in place the systems and practices to create a force of engaged and constructive employees. Finally, the entire enterprise must be kept on-track with constant, consistent, and multi-lateral communication.  

The game has changed. Have you put yourself in position to take advantage of the new social networks?



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