Policy Matters

August 12, 2009

Hal Pomeranz, Deer Run Associates

Hey, I read a great policy today! I bet you can count on the fingers of one kneecap the number of times you’ve said that in your life.  Yet in this case it’s quite literally true: I did read a great policy today.  Surf on over to Will Weider’s blog and check out his organization’s draft Social Media Policy.

Let me try and articulate some of the reasons why I like this policy document so much:

  • It takes something that many organizations are viewing as a threat– the use of social media by their employees– and instead dares to envision an opportunity instead.
  • It’s inclusive, recognizing and supporting the role that all employees have in promoting the business.
  • It’s respectful to employees, treating them as adults with decision making capabilities rather than naughty children who need specific rules in order to be kept in line.
  • It discusses the problems that can occur with social media outside of the contexts that directly affect the reputation and bottom-line of the organization (in particular see “Don’t jeopardize your reputation and/or future employment opportunities” and “Don’t alienate your co-workers”).
  • It’s educational.  It’s readable.  It’s short.  And it clearly indicates who has authority and who to contact in case of questions about the policy.

I tell you, if more policies were written this way maybe “policy” wouldn’t be such a dirty word to people.

The other thing I love about Will’s posting is that he’s clearly demonstrating the opportunity of Social Media by posting a draft of the policy on the web for comments.  I challenge you to read the draft policy and not think, “Hey, this company seems to have their head screwed on straight.  This might be a good place to work.”  Oh yeah, and he might get some comments directly about the policy that might help improve the document.  “Open Source” policy, anyone?

So kudos to Will and the team at Ministry Health for an excellent piece of work.  By the way, all of you IT folks reading this blog should consider following Will (@CandidCIO) on Twitter.

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