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648 - WikiLeaks: Chilling Corporate Collaboration?

Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie - Nov 30, 2010.
#648 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
55,199 Readers - - The MASIE Center.

Special Note: WikiLeaks Has Potentially Chilling Effect on Corporate Collaboration Support

Dear Learning TRENDS Reader,

The release of confidential US State Department memos, emails and reports by WikiLeaks is having a potentially chilling effect on corporate collaboration strategies. Organizations are asking if the shift towards widespread internal sharing - including collaboration sites with content, context, personal perspectives and harnessing the “wisdom of the crowds” - could backfire and end up in the public release of embarrassing information.

Over the past two days, I have received multiple calls from corporate learning and collaboration coordinators, as well as journalists, about the impact of the leaks on organizational trust, knowledge sharing and the security and liability issues for organizations deploying internal social media.

Apart from the national security and criminal aspects of the recent leaks, this incident is creating a huge “MOMENT” in the deployment of internal document and collaboration sharing. It can become a “teachable moment” or it can become a “contraction/restriction” moment, where concerns about information leakage, brand damage and even legal liability shut down the shift towards greater collaboration.

In the coming weeks, we encourage our Learning TRENDS readers to facilitate conversations in their organizations about:

* Trust in a Collaborative World: What do organizations need to do to keep trust levels high about the future use of content in collaborative systems?
* Access Monitoring or Limitations: Do we provide wide pread access to all employees to all content? And, do we monitor large access/downloads?
* Assumptions about Disclosure: What are the assumptions that employees should have about the eventual disclosure of internal documents with personal comments?
* Wiki Brand: Has this leak impacted the brand of “Wiki”? Should organizations migrate away from that name?
* What is Open vs. What is Secret: Should organizations collapse the distinction between “open” and “secret” with only a few exceptions?
* Legal Perspectives: How can we work with our legal departments in balancing security and risk, while still harnessing the “wisdom of the crowd” internally?

Scenario discussions can be helpful. For example, talk about the implications of a disgruntled employee showing unflattering comments in a sales system to a customer after they leave the company in order to “steal” the account. Or, could an employee download all the social networking content from an internal “Facebook” page for their cousin to use in a few months to pitch financial services or other products?

I would love to hear from TRENDS readers on this issue. Please send me a note, ASAP, about your thoughts, comments and even willingness to talk with a reporter about this issue. And, how do we make this a true “Teachable Moment”? Send to

Yours in learning,
Elliott Masie

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