Public Parts: Rules for the Radically Public Company

These rules for a radically public company are excerpted and adapted from Jeff Jarvis new book, Public Parts. You’ll be hearing more about Jarvis and his book here, but in the meantime I’ll offer some food for thought.

A few questions to ask yourself. Could your company be this radical? At this point in time, do you see value in these ideas? Or do these ideas sound crazy? Viewed on a spectrum of publicness from 1 through 5, where would your company place for each value?

The Radically Public Company would:

  • Encourage all of its employees to use the tools of the public net to have direct and open relationships with customers – answering questions, hearing and implementing ideas, solving problems and improving products.
  • Open up as much data as possible about its products and processes, including even design specifications, sales and repair data and customer feedback as well as provenance of the ingredients and parts it uses
  • Become collaborative, opening up design, support, marketing, and even strategy, to its public, releasing plans and beta products in process.
  • Possibly all but eliminate advertising, relying on customers to sell products for them.
  • Reveal and explain everything it does with customer information, giving customers a simple means to opt in and out and to correct data.
  • Make all customer data portable, letting us leave and take our information — emails, purchases, preferences, connections, creations, friends everything — elsewhere.
  • Open its books, even its salaries, to public view.
  • Operate under open standards. That way it could run more efficiently, using off the shelf parts and software, benefiting from others innovations.
  • See itself as a member of an ecosystem more than as a conglomerate that wants to control all that it surveys.
  • See itself as a platform or network, more than the owners of assets.
  • Institute new kinds of governance. What if it had a constitution and a bill of rights that everyone — employees, customers, suppliers and executives— could rely on.
  • Have a CEO who is the leader of something more than just a company: perhaps of a community, a movement, a mission?

Let me know what you think.

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