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Lessons Learned….Cisco Updates Policy on Employee Blogging

We have chosen to dedicate a substantial post to this topic since it is an important issue affecting Cisco and many other companies as online communications continue to evolve.

Our recent experiences have shown us that as corporate blogging becomes more prevalent, new questions arise about transparency and etiquette. Corporate blogging is an important vehicle for two-way dialogue and communications, and it is a vehicle we are committed to utilizing here at Cisco. Most recently, we’ve learned some important lessons and through this blog post, hope our learnings add value to those participating in this important new media.

Policy Change

Cisco today is amending its policy on employee blogging. These changes follow the disclosure by a Cisco employee that he had authored an anonymous blog commenting on various policy and legal matters with which the company has been involved and on which he worked. In addition, Cisco employees who knew he was the author circulated links to the blog without revealing that a Cisco employee authored the blog.

The company believes strongly in employees’ right to freedom of expression, online and elsewhere. At the same time, we expect our employees, when commenting on matters related to Cisco’s business, to exercise that freedom in a manner consistent with Cisco’s corporate values of transparency and integrity. Therefore, we have evolved our employee blogging policy to expressly address:

  • blogging anonymously about issues employees have responsibilities for at Cisco; and
  • passing on to third parties “anonymous” blog postings of any kind that employees know were written by someone at Cisco.

The revised blogging policy will include the following clause, to take effect immediately:

“If you comment on any aspect of the company’s business or any policy issue the company is involved in where you have responsibility for Cisco’s engagement, you must clearly identify yourself as a Cisco employee in your postings or blog site(s) and include a disclaimer that the views are your own and not those of Cisco. In addition, Cisco employees should not circulate postings that they know are written by other employees without informing the recipient that the source was within Cisco.”

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Spring Fever, First Steps and March Madness

With spring (the first day was yesterday), of course, comes spring fever as well as March Madness…the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Many news outlets reported yesterday, including from Newsweek’s Sarah Kliff, that businesses would be sapped by people watching or looking for updates on the NCAA tournament…to the tune of $1.7 Billion. This assumes that every worker who has participated in an NCAA office pool spends 10 minutes during each work day of the tourney checking scores or watching games. (This, of course, is in the U.S.)The report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a consulting firm specializing in workplace issues, admits that the study isn’t exactly scientific. I will further challenge their assumption of lost productivity by asking what price you put on morale. You may lose 10 minutes of productivity here or there from the NCAA tournament, but you have to take the happiness of the employee into consideration. In this day of always-on workers with broadband at home and mobile mail and cellphones, we are always reachable and often have to shift our schedules to work with global colleagues. Many of us in the workforce (especially in technology) are also given the flexibility in our work schedules to attend the parent-teacher conference, the school play or the soccer game. As long as the employee is happy and gets his or her done, then the WHEN of the work becomes much less relevant. In other words, a happy employee is a productive employee. Read More »

Gore on Green: “business leaders are way ahead of political leaders”

As noted in this space last week, an “EcoPanel” took place today with former U.S. VP Al Gore and Cisco CEO John Chambers via Cisco TelePresence. You can view a replay of the conversation here.VoiceCon Gore Chambers Bostrom 2008.jpgFrom left: Cisco CEO John Chambers in San Jose, CA; former VP Al Gore in Nashville, TN; ITN correspondent Lawrence McGinty in London; and Cisco Chief Marketing Officer Sue Bostrom in Orlando, FL(Photo by Alex Dunne via Flickr)CNET Reporter Martin LaMonica has a good write-up of the conversation. He states, in part, “Gore spoke from a location near his home in Nashville, Tenn., while Chambers was in San Jose, Calif., and the moderator of the event–ITN science editor Lawrence McGinty–spoke from outside London. People could watch over the Web and audiences listened and watched from the VoiceCon conference in Orlando, outside London, Warsaw, Dubai, and Paris.The multi-location format drove home the basic point of the event: the Internet can help more people collaborate, something that is essential to solving the difficult challenge of climate change.” Read More »

Cisco Joins Eclipse Foundation

We are pleased to announce that we are joining the Eclipse Foundation, the leading open source organization whose projects are focused on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks and tools for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle.Cisco has always espoused the benefits of “no technology religion” as well as open, standards-based platforms and we are pleased to share this philosophy in membership with the Eclipse Foundation.    The Eclipse Foundation’s commitment to help cultivate an open source community and an ecosystem of complementary products and services is something that Cisco supports and we are happy to join them in this effort.   One of the initial Eclipse Foundation projects Cisco will be supporting is around building a software tool that enables telecommunication companies to create models of next generation networks.   These models are then used to generate documentation and software for essential management applications.   The Eclipse Foundation refers to this as the the “œTigerstripe” project and expects to provide an update to the Eclipse community in April.For more information check out the annual event of the Eclipse community, EclipseCon which is being held this week from March 17-20th in  Santa Clara.Post by Linda Horiuchi, Senior PR Manager

GREEN on St. Patty’s Week

First, Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I, of course, forgot to don a green shirt…or socks…or anything, so even though I have a bit of Irish in me I’m not “showing the colors,” so to speak. I hope this acknowledgement by blog will suffice.This week is a good week for green generally. Our CEO John Chambers is talking virtually through TelePresence to former U.S. Vice President (and Nobel Laureate and Oscar winner) Al Gore on Wednesday about on climate change and technology innovation on Wednesday, March 19 at 11AM ET (8AM PT). Please join the conversation by registering for this webcast at, to turn personal, I’m a bit green with envy over the teams that were included in the NCAA basketball tournament*. My school, Wake Forest, was not chosen to participate…and, even though we had a winning record and I thought, surely, we’d go to the NIT tournament, we were not chosen for that post-season tourney either…which leaves me a little green in the gills, as they say. So, maybe I am wearing a bit of green today.*I’m going to have to go with my home-state North Carolina Tar Heels to win it all this year. Read More »