I have to say that I was stunned by the revelation this week in the New York Times that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn’t have a US State Department email address, but was instead, using her private account to conduct diplomacy. Having worked in the US financial system, I know that every banker—particularly those that give financial advice—uses secure, archived email to record their interaction with clients—to mutual benefit. There’s a lot at stake in those communications, and keeping them archived and encrypted is the best way to preserve and protect one version of the truth.
When—as apparently Mrs. Clinton has done—someone decides for themselves which communications are relevant to the job and which aren’t, you’re introducing both a clear conflict of interest and most important, doubt about the full truth.
Organizations I’ve worked with in regulated industries have clear polices backed up by compliance training, auditing and technology that ensure the rules are followed. If that’s not occurring the US Department of State, who conducts some of the most important confidential conversations imaginable, how secure is our diplomacy? Just imagine the kinds of conversations going on now as Secretary Kerry negotiates a nuclear power deal with Iran?
What’s also particularly disturbing is that (presumably) hundreds of people who received email from her knew she was using a personal email address. The fact that red flags were not raised day one on the job for her shows a troubling lack of empowerment among the state department team. Are they willing to speak the truth to power?
To summarize, from a governance perspective, what went wrong based on our “4P Model: People, Policy Process and Practice”
Perhaps it’s time that a full information security audit is due at the US State Department.
Is this lack of governance happening at your company? Use the checklists in our Social Business Governance research report to find out.
We match up Hillary Clinton’s actions against our social business governance framework.
We evaluated the US Congress according to our social governance framework, and the results weren’t great.
Charlene Li and I are pleased to offer you Altimeter’s latest research report focused on Social Business Governance.
Large enterprises are rolling out social media at scale – and training and education for employees is critical. Well-developed social media education programs can help companies achieve business goals by reducing social media risk and activating employees for engagement and advocacy.
I’ve taught more than 300 professionals Social Business through hands-on workshops, and happy to announce new workshops from Altimeter Academy focused on Content Marketing and Social Business Analytics.
SXSW Interactive—or what I like to call it, “Geek Mardi Gras”—is over, and the dust is settling.