Friday, September 22, 2006

Boardroom Ethics... yet again

By now you've seen the news about HP and its spying tactics, you've heard how disappointed the tech industry is that the "HP Way" has been thrown aside in favor of actions more fitting a spy movie.

Here is a company that had ethics built into its very core, and still managed to throw all that aside in favor of spying on journalists. And as always happens with these kinds of stories, the cover-up is worse than the original story. In fact, even HP admits that the leaks weren't damaging, but they just wanted them to stop. Now people have a whole new perception of the company.

I have, on many occasions, called for some kind of ethical advisor in the boardroom. Shel Holtz maintains that a communicator in the boardroom would have the same result. In this case he's right, every PR person know that you don't try to be underhanded with folks in the media, that's just asking for trouble.

But another issue is the basic concept of transparency. What if the board members were blogging instead of talking to reporters? Would that have changed attitudes and information flow?

No comments: