Microsoft’s Channel 9 has an interesting interview with Julie Larson-Green. She is a developer who is now the VP of program management for the Windows experience team.
I met her during a vacation at Lake Powell when she worked on the Office team back in 2000. I found her to be not only highly intelligent, but a fun person to be around. I’ve noticed that every time I see her name she has a new title with greater responsibilities.
During the interview, about 27:45, Charles asked Julie about blogging and levels of transparency. Julie mentioned that blogging is important, but there needs to be the ‘correct’ level of transparency. Ensure you understand the difference between what you are actually doing and what you are thinking about doing. Throwing out all the ideas that are in your head isn’t being transparent it can be randomizing, especially in a company as large as Microsoft.
Julie says Microsoft has a responsibility to be transparent about what we are going to do, but also taking care concerning transparency about ideas that might get people focused in the wrong direction. With the large partner system we have we want to ensure that we don’t mislead or randomize people with all the ideas we have.
I think this issue is something that individuals and companies will need to figure out on their own. Companies that are more downstream, and have fewer partners depending on them, can throw more stuff against the wall to see what sticks. Larger companies with dependent partners should exercise caution about the ideas they are throwing out – or when they are throwing out ideas need to be very clear about the expectation of these ideas.