Jun 172012
transparency in policies and behaviour matters online

Transparency, openness, innovation and entrepreneurialism are all popular buzzwords, but do organisations really value these attributes?

At a cloud computing conference this week I sat in on an innovation presentation. Almost everyone in the room was wearing a dark suit.

Despite their dress, most of those folk desperately wanted to be ‘innovative’ and almost all of them worked in organisations that would really benefit with a dash of genuine creative thinking.

I thought of that conference when reading of the attempted shutting down of a primary school student’s food blog by her local education authority.

The saga of the Never Seconds food blog illustrated the classic responses of managers when faced with something they can’t control – shut it down on whatever grounds you can find.

In the case of Never Seconds it was because the food service staff feared they would lose their jobs. Bless the council for caring so much about their staff.

As always in these situations, it was an opportunity missed to promote the school district and improve the services they provide.

Never Seconds is also a great place where other school students shared their school lunches. It is a great idea to promote healthy eating for kids.

Thankfully the Argyll and Bute Council relented on their ban and the Never Seconds blog is back for lunch.

Educators around the world talk about promoting children’s curiosity and creativity yet when a child expresses them in a way that threatens staff or bureaucrat power, they are quickly slapped down.

The same happens in the workplace, most organisations will treat truly innovative and original thinkers like the naughty children they probably were.

For too many organisations – businesses, political parties and even schools – words like innovation, creativity, openness and transparency are just empty buzzwords.

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