When Enterprise 2.0 is just keeping up appearances

Have you heard about the official protest parks set up in Beijing? Not a single protest approved despite 77 applications. And a human rights group says there have been a few arrests, and two convictions of re-education through labour (there was something on TV the other night – they reported these two people were actually women in their seventies wanting to demonstrate about a residential relocation issue)

Now I certainly don’t mean to trivialise the issue in Beijing, but it was the first thing I thought of when somebody at work mentioned a company wanting to approve blog posts by employees. What does this mean for Enterprise 2.0 implementation and governance? Are you really letting people have their say, or are you just keeping up appearances of providing a platform to speak? Do you provide guidelines or do you provide a process? What message are you sending your employees about trust, tolerance and personal value – or even the values of the company? How can you sing out loud when you’re told to tiptoe?
making dust talk
image originally uploaded by TruShu on Flickr
From Reuters – The International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday it would have liked to see protesters actually use designated protest parks during the Beijing Games.

Not a single permit for the 77 protest applications has been issued by Chinese authorities.

“We would welcome that these areas are generally used,” IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies told reporters. “(Other) Games organizers have used designated areas of the city for protests in the past.”

Weeks before the start of the August 8-24 Olympics, China had said it had set up three demonstration zones to counter criticism Beijing is crushing human rights to prevent disruptions to the meticulously planned Olympics.

Would-be protesters though had to a apply for a protest permit five days in advance.

No permits have yet been issued and park managers have not even made plans for handling demonstrators, because they do not expect any.