Playing with a new toy or; policy for the people=power to the people

PolicyTool for Social Media is an open source policy generator that asks twelve questions with a smattering of qualifiers. I was introduced to it today by a friend and colleage and have been having a wee play with it to wind down this evening.

I’ve based it around a social media consultancy as that is one career path I am considering for the mid-term, and posted it as a page on this blog. NB: I named the company seanfish out of sheer lazyness – please work around it if you choose to read the policy.

I of course had to do some editing, however I was greatly surprised and impressed at the relatively small amount. I’ve noted a few of the more significant changes here.

I was a little concerned by the following under  “Don’t Tell Secrets”

“We must also be mindful of the competitiveness of our industry.”

I can see the relevance, however I wished the tone of my policy to reflect an expectation of proactive thinking, and this simply seems implicit in a proactive business environment.

Similarly, there was a fairly explicit section on respect in the original. I believe acting with respect  to be an implicit and necessary value in any organisation, and that spelling it out except in times of clear need communicates a lack of respect for a team of experienced people. In this case I chose to insert the following phrase instead:

  • We view respect as a basic adult value and trust our team to do so also. If you feel a need to pause: pause.

I thought this next section in particular was brilliant, and almost completely unalted. I’m interested that I chose to define community values explicitly – I found it interesting to learn even my dream organisation needs some policy that spells some expectations out:

Protect seanfish customers, business partners,suppliers and colleagues

No individual you work with should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. Never identify a customer, partner or supplier by name without permission and never discuss confidential details of a customer engagement. It is acceptable to discuss general details about kinds of projects and to use non-identifying pseudonyms for a customer so long as the information provided does not violate any non-disclosure agreements that may be in place with the customer or make it easy for someone to identify the customer. Your blog is not the place to “conduct business” with a customer.

Finally, I removed the last clause:

Policy violations will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination for cause.

And substituted:

  • We operate in a discussional culture. With that in mind, we expect you to be as able to positively initate discussions about your own concerns, although we reserve the right to initiate such conversations as appropriate. Our first recourse will always be to find how to support to staff encountering communication difficulties.

To counter this very dry post, here’s some music I like from Bonobo:

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About seanmurgatroyd
Library (Shared blog): http://diligentroom.wordpress.com/ Personal including infoculture, book reviews: http://diligentroom.wordpress.com/ Music: http://seanfishmusic.wordpress.com/ Last.fm band page: http://www.last.fm/music/Seanfish @seanfish

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