Posted: 06 Dec 2010 12:11 AM PST
Back in the innocent, febrile days of the dotcom boom in 1998/9, we at Razorfish and others like us were touting transparency as an inevitable side effect of the internet.I am not sure our clients really knew what we meant, I am not sure we knew what we mean, but it seemed like a logical outcome of digital.
Now we know.
When you put recording devices into everyones hands and connect them to a global distribution network – secrets, of any significance,cease to exist.
Whatever the nuances of the Wikileaks diplomatic download, this is transparency in action.
Our advice to our clients in 1998 was to only do things that were fully aligned with their brand and brands had to be fully aligned with their market place.
In a transparent world; Do NOTHING of which you are not proud.
Politicians, diplomats and businesses have had plenty of warning to get used to the idea of transparency. It was inevitable as soon as Tim Berners Lee let the World Wide Web genie out of the bottle, and so it has happened.
The reality is that we have become so completely used to the idea of saying one thing and doing another, to deceit, to lying that it is culturally hard to shift. To be fair to them, many businesses have already got their acts together – now it is the turn of governments.
These are evolutionary lessons. Evolutionary lessons are hard. If you are at the leading edge they are hard because as Schopenhauer said: All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
If you are behind the curve they are hard because the sensibility of the community has moved on and you are seen as vulgar, out of touch and embarrassing. Watching the writhing, self serving, finger pointing of the embarrassed you can see where they lie on the curve.
Once again, the only answer is authenticity, to be true to our own brand. For every one of us, in business and politics. That way, even in a transparent world there are no embarrassing skeletons to be divulged over the internet.
I was really hoping to be able to launch “Magic Monday” today, my anthology of six years worth of Monday messages, sadly the technology has delayed me and I have too much on this week, to be ready by next Monday. Many apologies to those who are waiting – I still hope to have it ready before Christmas.
RA Mashelkar talks about the transformative effects of low cost design, why not apply these principles rather than implement austerity measures? Surely it is only fear and self serving to do otherwise?. Watch his TED talk, put it on your web site, link to it and talk about it to everyone you meet. I have put it on www.neilcrofts.com
If you would like help in finding your authenticity, give me a call.
Join us on our Authentic Business Radio show every Thursday at 5pm UK, 6pm Euro or 12.00 EST.
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