Balancing openness and comfort – a real-life story

Meet Joel. Joel has just created a new collaboration space on the company’s collaboration platform. Everything went nice and smooth, and as a part of the process Joel decided that his collaboration space should be avalable for everyone – ”Heck, I’ve got nothing to hide and if people should take a closer look it’s OK with me!”

Meet Tim. Tim has also created a new collaboration space but Tim has a lot of confidential information which should only be shared within his project team. The latest addition ot the team is a part-time consultant, Louise, who have been granted access to the collaboration platform. Tim really likes the flexibility, but something doesn’t quite feel right. He calls the webmaster and his fears are confirmed: Louise has access to all the public places on the platform. Yikes!

Tim decides to abandon the collaboration platform fearing that Louise, even though she is a trusted partner, she has access to other information related to the company and Tim simply can’t accept that risk.

Meet the webmaster. Initially, he is sad that Tim has decided to abandon the collaboration platform since it has proven very useful and quite popular due to the very open nature. Colleagues sharing Tim’s view has been discussed as a part of the project and the project team made the decision that if you can’t accept the openness, the collaboration platform is just not for you.

The above approach is commendable and probably also the best way if you have a small intranet team since it requires relatively little oversight. However, this approach also requires a high degree of mutual trust. Both between the adminstrators and the employees, but also among the employees themselves, but since they are both readers and owners we have a conflict. The role ambiguity creates a need for having some kind of fence around one’s own yard in order to comfortably use a platform like this which ultimately ends up contradicting the idea of having an open platform.

A gordic knot? Far from it but this issue needs some careful consideration. As I see it there is one big question that remains unanswered is: How do you create an open and transparent platform while attending to people’s need for having a place of their own?


One thought on “Balancing openness and comfort – a real-life story

  1. Pingback: IntranetLounge

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