Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Radical Transparency

Our Real Change wiki has been recognized as a Top Ten Nominee for Innovation by Seattle NPower "for introducing radical transparency in how they do business" and I'm pretty tickled with that. This is one of those areas where being slightly OCD pays off in the end. When I created the thing, the idea was to simply build an on-line space where documents could be made available for our board. Then I just sort of got carried away. By the time I started writing our thirteen year history, I was down the rabbit hole for the next week or so. Anitra and Wes happily followed. After I was done, the majority of our internal documents were on line, and I was inviting anyone who cared to come take a look. Here's how NPower sees it:

Nominated Innovation: Real Change took a bold measure in revealing their most sensitive documents to the public, staff and board via their online wikispace. With financials, grant applications and circulation information completely open to public scrutiny and comment, Real Change has redefined transparency in a radical way.

The wiki came in handy during our blogospheric event last April when I was being accused of the poverty pimp thing over on Seattle Weekly's blog. All I had to do was send the guy to the wiki, and suddenly I was cleared of all charges.

It's funny how here in Seattle one can lose sight of what's innovative. When I raised the idea at our North American street paper conference last weekend as a possible best practice for others, ninety-percent of the people in the room didn't know what a wiki was. Thats OK. To me, the whole text messaging thing seems strange and bizarre, so I guess we're all Luddites in our own way.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Congrats Tim! Not only does the wiki offer transparency, but it looks great too! And it's easy to navigate. My organization is beginning to work on a wiki and I just sent the link to Real Change's to everyone.