Alumni Blog

I was surfing with a friend last weekend who is CFO of a very hot private start-up. Actually, let me clarify. He was surfing. I was doing this. Don't kid yourself - surfing is harder than it looks.

As we floated between sets, he shared with me that his executive team had noticed that their best employees seemed to all have worked for Sun at some point in their career. This lead to a discussion about things that make this place special and keep it interesting from the legal side of things.

I gave him a recent example. It's no secret that we are taking actions to reduce our operating expenses, including eliminating jobs. Many of the employees who are impacted are also active members of our blogging community. Naturally, the question is what do we do? Should we shut off their access to blogs@sun? That is choice most companies would make. Indeed, some attorneys advised that we take this approach. The thinking was that it would minimize disruption, negative external perceptions and reduce the risk of litigation.

Here's what we did instead. We created a site for all former employees to blog as part of our Sun alumni community. I have to admit that I held my breath when the site went live. But, far from being a magnet for angry ex-employees or litigation, the site has developed into a wonderful and supportive community made up of some very talented and creative people. For those of you seeking these types of employees. Look here.

Comments:

This is an admirable and very smart move. The cutting off of access would have caused an immediate backlash. These people have other places to blog - that's for sure. Good move. Jason Broadwater

Posted by Jason Broadwater on August 10, 2006 at 08:43 PM PDT #

[Trackback] All business owners and executives can learn from this. read here = http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/dillon?entry=new_blog_entry thinking, Jason Broadwater Online Branding Consultant web marketing  ...

Posted by guest on August 10, 2006 at 08:46 PM PDT #

Hey Mike,

Welcome to the blog-o-sphere!

Do you have any concern that looking forward this "alumni-community" may become a stomping ground for unhappy former employees? Are the people who blog there understanding of Sun's actions?

I think it sounds like a great idea. It shows that Sun is supportive and caring, but you have to wonder if this could come back and bite you later...

I'm also holding my breath!

- j

Posted by Justin R. Pessa on August 10, 2006 at 10:49 PM PDT #

Welcome, but isn't it traditional on your blog to actually tell people who you are and what your position in the company is? Also, may want to put your name an title somewhere on the page for future reference.

Posted by guest on August 14, 2006 at 12:32 AM PDT #

Hi Mike, Long time gone but as was stated earlier some of us have landed in places we never expected and wow!!!! what a difference. All is good here and my ferverent hope is all is well with you and yours.

Posted by Frank Johnson on August 15, 2006 at 04:19 AM PDT #

Love the picture...

Posted by Deb on August 17, 2006 at 01:40 AM PDT #

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