Home > Chris Skinner, Finextra, Strategy, YouTube > Your Firewall Isn’t The Problem

Your Firewall Isn’t The Problem

Chris Skinner over at Finextra recently wrote an article I’m sorry, you are firewalled out. In the article, he told a story of how the CEO of a major, strategically led, global company was surprised that Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion. He was surprised because he’d never heard of the company. He then conferred with his direct reports and found that none of them had heard of YouTube either. The CEO then attempted to go to YouTube’s website and was stopped by the company’s firewall.

The conclusion was, management is effectively blocking themselves through policies they dictate for the company. Because websites such as YouTube, FaceBook, LinkedIn and MySpace are blocked, management doesn’t know the value they could bring to the company.

Hogwash. Firewalls and policies aren’t keeping management in the dark. Lack of inquisitiveness and communication is. In the example of the CEO, the direct reports must not have read any trade magazines or websites in the past couple of years. YouTube, FaceBook, LinkedIn and MySpace have constantly been mentioned on sites such as Infoworld, Computerworld and CIO. I’m willing to bet there were plenty of employees at that company that knew about YouTube. They just weren’t asked because they’re lower level employees.

And that is the crux of the problem. Innovation and strategy doesn’t only come from the top and filter down the organization chart. Anyone in the organization can have an idea. Anyone could also be keeping up with technology. Sometimes, it’s as simple as asking the employees around you.

  1. March 7, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    – Sue.

  2. George Pasley
    March 7, 2008 at 12:28 am


    Welcome, and I look forward to your future comments.


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