Do the Right Thing–the new website

I find this absolutely fascinating. A new digg-type website has recently appeared that promises to change the world by evaluating if companies are “doing the right thing.”  The site is called dotherightthing.com. You might also be interested in seeing what other bloggers are saying about this new site. Here’s a post called “Do the Smug Thing.”

This is fascinating for a couple of reasons. In my most recent presentations I have been focusing on two key points on how to build trust: 1) do the right thing (in the minds of the stakeholders) and 2) communicate about it. Yes, those were my words–do the right thing.

It’s also fascinating because while it looks like it ought to be one of the those things that Ken Blanchard talked about–catching people in the act of doing something right, it looks right now to be not much more than another place for the disgruntled and angry people with too much time on their hands to complain about how all these companies are ruining their world. That may not be fair but a quick look at the companies “under evaluation” in order of “popularity” Walmart is on top with Starbucks right behind. I suspect most of those spending time “evaluating” are not looking to find Walmart doing the right thing.

Mostly, this is another incredible example of what we have been talking about. I suggested earlier here I might write a book titled: It’s Everybody’s Business. A subtle but powerful shift has occurred. What I do is now my business and what you do is now my business. Particularly if you in any way whatsover impact my little world. For young people, they think it has always been that way. But for us fifty-somethings or beyond, it is staggering to consider the degree of ownership that today’s stakeholders perceive they rightfully have. This website is but one more example of that phenomenon.

The trouble is this–most senior execs and communications managers are in my age category–and they too frequently don’t get it. They continue to operate in the world that says “it’s my business” and I have a right to do what I think is right. Wrong. Those days are gone–possibly forever. That means all the communication policies and efforts have to take into consideration the “it’s my business” thinking. I see far too little evidence that this is happening.

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