I fear blogging about my job because what I say might come back around, but I would never know that the blog is what bit me. There’s a lot more to it than just convincing my manager (and his manager) that blogging would be good for the company’s relationship with its employees and customers; unfortunately, my company is in an industry which itself shuns change and fears that the public will discover their dirty secrets of inefficiency-at-the-public’s-expense. It’s a mess. We’re trying to fix it but you become like what/who you associate with and entropy is not on our side.
Fear of being different. Fear of telling your boss your ideas. Fear of speaking up in meetings. Fear of going up to someone you don’t know and introducing yourself. Fear of doing something that might destroy your career.
Fear of weblogging.
It’s time we get over our fears.
I meet a lot of people around the industry. Almost everytime I meet someone, I ask them “do you have a weblog?” That’s my way of saying “I like you and want to hear more of your ideas.” Even deeper: I want a permanent relationship with you (and not of the sexual kind, either).
I’ve asked this question of people at Apple. Google. IBM. eBay. Real Networks. Cisco. Intel. HP. Amazon. And, yes, here at Microsoft.
Too often the answer is “I couldn’t do that.”
“Why not?” I ask.
“Because I might get fired,” is often the answer. I hate that answer. It’s an example of corporate fear. An artifact of a management system that doesn’t empower its employees to act on behalf of customers.
I find this fear disturbing. Imagine being a flight attendant with this kind of fear. “Sorry, I can’t talk to the passengers in this plane today cause I might get fired.”
I’m not the only one who sees it, either. John McCain, in the September 2004 Fast Company, went looking for courage.
Lately, more and more people, both inside and outside of Microsoft, have been asking me for ways to convince their boss to “get” weblogging. Translation: they are trying to
…excerpt from: radio.weblogs.com…