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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How 'open' should I be?

One person I know commented to me: "I really think you should not be saying everything you are saying in your blog. There are things about your business you are saying that no one should know but you."

Another friend, after watching me with a relatively new employee, said: "I really think you shouldn't have said that (topic deleted) to him. You need to compartmentalize yourself and be very careful about what you say."

Are these two individuals right? The issue of how much information to share, and the best way to do it, is always an issue in business. Spreading your competitive secrets far and wide doesn't seem so wise; causing employees, customers, or others to think you are 'rich' also may not be particularily smart, especially if you speak with candor about a specific project and they do not see the whole picture.

Yet openness, in my opinion, has its value as well. If others can see where things are, they are able to contribute their own constructive ideas; and if they understand the big picture, they can connect their thoughts and resources to help solve the challenges and problems affecting the entire team.

Should these matters be aired in an open blog? Obviously, I must be careful here as I do not have any control over who actually will read these words. But I still, reflecting my nature and value, believe that more information is better than less -- if that information is useful, sincere, and effective in communicating the larger vision.

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