Trust is the only thing that scales

Sometimes the best thing you can share is real life advice you’ve given someone. What follows is an email [almost verbatim] I sent to someone who asked me about the blurring line between professional and personal lives online (emphasis added):

My first impression is that this [person] is doing something awesome [online]; and that I wish the [organization] would find a way to leverage [their] passion for outreach/recruiting purposes (i.e. bring [them] into the fold officially rather than keep [them] at arms length); but that might just be wishful thinking.

‘paranoia’ by katiew

My professional opinion is that your responsibilities as a communications adviser to monitor this particular situation ends at advising [them] to read the TBS guidelines and remind [them] of [their] responsibilities under the Code of Values and Ethics (and any other unique codes of conduct within the organization).

My reason being that you may be able to police [their] activities now, but if everyone in the [organization] started blogging tomorrow could you scale that approach to your entire organization? Trust in the professionalism of your workforce is the only thing that scales across the entire organization and the only thing that pays dividends in the long term. [This person] is obviously engaged in [their] work, does the organization really want to risk alienating [them] over this?

As you may or may not know I’ve been blogging about the public service as a public servant for the last 4+ years without major incident. As long as [they are] willing to accept the consequences of his actions, whatever they may be, I see no harm in letting [them] continue.

PS – I only got one Guerrilla Renewal submission, here it is, and it is awesome.

Originally published by Nick Charney at


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Dick Davies

Awesome post Nick! And Natalie’s poem makes it even better.

We are rushing to the point where all there can be is infrastructure and trust. Your scolding advisory note was taking full control of everything that will be gone.

Last week I had the honor of attending Wikimania, the wikipedia world conference. By shedding everything but trust and infrastructure I saw how and why they are outperforming our governments.

The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed. William Gibson