Friday, July 15, 2011

Are You At Risk?

If your organization still believes it can choose whether or not to be transparent about social and environmental issues, you probably are at risk.

Enter, "radical transparency" as defined by Chris Laslo and Nadya Zhexembayeva in their book Embedded Sustainability, The Next Big Competitive Advantage,

Radical transparency is the ability to fully, accurately, and instantly obtain information about a company or a product at any stage of its life cycle, from raw material extraction to product end-of-life. There is a technological component based on virtual communication tools that make it possible for anyone anywhere to "see" into a company or product. There is also a behavioral component coming from rising awareness of ecological and social issues. Greater awareness is leading to the desire by consumers, investors, and employees to know how companies and their products are impacting the world around them.

No longer can we control the message sent out to our key stakeholders. In today's world of instant communication, your organization's practices are just one tweet, video on YouTube or blog away. The meeting and event industry is readily adopting the use of social media as a way of involving virtual participants or increasing the visibility of the conference.

For example, several weeks ago I saw participants tweet, "this conference is handing out too much paper" and "stop using disposable plates and cups" along with the conference hashtag while at a meeting industry event. That put me on notice. Like it or not, welcome to radical transparency. We can't change this trend, but we can change our policies and practices.

So, are you at risk?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for "enlightening" your community, Nancy. Change is exponentially accelerating and what used to be a good idea or valuable principle is now a survival skill.

Nancy J. Zavada, CMP said...

Well said!