If anyone wants to know how you do business, what customers think of your product, how you compare to your peers or what your policy on paternity leave might be, they need only go online. The web creates a degree of transparency that has never been known before and the successful businesses of the future are waking up to the fact. Fast.
Mind the gap
The days of saying one thing and doing another are over. Any credibility gap that exists between what a business says and what it actually does is magnified online. You are already under the eye glass and when you treat people badly, be they staff, customers or the communities where you operate, the story will be out and your reputation suffers even more.
People do business with people
This isn’t corporate social responsibility. This is simply people doing business with people. It’s human, it’s conversational, it’s good manners and it works. It means that secrecy is in decline, being rapidly replaced by openness, honesty and integrity. It’s the only way to survive in a multi channel environment where people want to participate.
Edge or core?
Smart companies are tapping into this change. Encouraging their staff to write blogs, inviting customers to create content, and freeing staff to explore and collaborate on edge competencies that carry risk. But whoever heard of reward without risk?
So do business responsibly. Be open, honest and decent and let the world be your judge. Relinquish control of the message you want to deliver and join the conversation about you that is already taking place.
You never know, you might even be able to shape it.