A few weeks ago, I wrote:
Very few foundation employees ever comment on this blog. I’d love them to join the discourse, but I get the sense they feel it is far too risky to let an individual express an opinion that might not be inline with “official foundation statements”. I think it’s a shame, because their point of view is being left out of the debate.
This week I got two anonymous comments. From “sm”:
As always the reasons for something like this are always more complex than one might assume. I am an individual working in a regional Foundation in the Midwest and the truth of the matter is that our organization is just starting to come to this blog thing.
And from “ewj”:
I worked for a foundation that had great successes and big failures. We published some of those failures. All transparency did was to allow our so-called failure to eclipse the many successes in discussions. Transparency only means something if you are looking at a big vision, wanting big changes, and asking people most impacted to change.
I appreciate both of you leaving your thoughts. My question for “sm” is as foundations begin to become more familiar with blogs, what is your advice (as someone who reads blogs) for them? Should it be acceptable for foundation employees to leave comments on blogs and reveal their identity?
My question for ewj is what was the negative affect from having your failures get more attention than your successes? Did it hinder your ability to achieve the foundation’s mission? Did people lose their job? Did it hurt moral? No one likes to be criticized, but was there tangible negative implications for the foundation due to your failures “eclipsing” your many successes?
Thanks to both of you for leaving your thoughts.