CEO Blogging. Why cross-eyed looks?

July 14, 2006

It happened again yesterday. I mention the idea of CEO blogging to a business person I respect and the response was a laughing “Oh yeah.” Like, are you out of your ever loving mind? Are you smoking crack? Why does this seems so strange? I realize this is what it looks like to observe a major culture shift occurring. Having one person in the organization talking openly to anyone who will listen on any topic he or she desires to address, without legal review, without PR polishing, without board consensus, without the executive team having 13 meetings to ponder the wisdom of it, just doesn’t seem right. And that is exactly the point.

I wonder if Henry Ford would object to blogging? I wonder if some VP suggested he might screw up in something he said that would cause the company some damage, how he would respond. I wonder how Ronald Reagan, the Great Communicator, would respond if someone suggested that it would be a bad idea for him to blog. I think he would say, “Why?”

I’m thinking right now the blog world is not so new after all. The desire for openness, honesty, transparency, freedom of expression, the ability to say something stupid once in a while without the world crashing down, is something we all want and always have wanted. The iconoclastic methods and expectations of bloggers are expressions of a universal human desire for authenticity in relationships and communication. It’s more that we have gone far away from that mode of communication in our mediated, hyper-sensitive, politically corrected and over-litigated world. Well, I think it is tiime to go back.

Let’s start talking again. One to one, face to face, if possible, but when not through this remarkable new medium. Let’s reveal ourselves, tell each other who we really are and what we care about. Let’s show a little respect. Let’s forgive a little more. Let’s accept honest mistakes and misstatements without getting the courts involved. And let’s not be so afraid to take the risk of honest communication.

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