Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Having the talk" now means 2 things
Having children used to mean having "the talk" about the birds and the bees, now there is a second talk that you should have, about posting stuff to the internet. You can have the exact same problem with employees, and their blogging or online activities. When you have this talk, it should not just be about you, your job, the company, or laws, it should concern what can potentially happen to your child or employee. You need to arm them with knowledge, and explain consequences for their actions. While it is important to realize that people have differences of opinion, it is also important for both sides to realize that they both may have a seat at the table. Weather it is your child or an employee that has a problem with an action the company is doing, both can have devastating effects on you, the company, the employee or child.
Having open lines of communication can help you either defuse a situation, or properly prepare for what is coming. Let's take an example of a company clearing some land for a new building. The company may have great plans, for this location, but be too blinded by their vision, to realize that they are not taking into account the natural beauty of the site, it's historic significance, or it's natural value. By talking to their family, friends and employees they may realize that changing their plans, they can avoid negative publicity, or alienation of their employees. We probably do not need to discuss how not allowing a child or an employee the ability to express their views on a certain topic can back fire.

With the above being said it is certainly inappropriate for an employee, or a child to release damaging information (less whistle blowing) just because they disagree. And it is defiantly illegal for an employee to release IP or other proprietary information that a company has. I'm not sure on the legality of the child releasing proprietary information, but I'm pretty sure that the allowing the child to gain that information is probably the same as releasing it to others. So it is imperative you talk to the appropriate people, and discuss business only with those people you are supposed to be discussing it with.

-- Tim Krabec

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