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专栏 - 从华尔街到硅谷

创业公司对内该不该信息透明?

Dan Primack 2016年03月15日

Dan Primack专注于报道交易和交易撮合者,从美国金融业到风险投资业均有涉及。此前,Dan是汤森路透(Thomson Reuters)的自由编辑,推出了peHUB.com和peHUB Wire邮件服务。作为一名新闻工作者,Dan还曾在美国马萨诸塞州罗克斯伯里经营一份社区报纸。目前他居住在波士顿附近。

媒体泄露的风险很容易被使员工产生遭到欺瞒的感觉的风险所压倒。只要前因后果清楚,业绩不佳并不一定对士气产生太大伤害。简言之,只要建立起足够强大的企业内部文化,你就能够经受风暴。


 

今年早些时候,移动安全新创企业Good Technology以不到最新私人估值一半的价格卖给了黑莓,《纽约时报》刊登了一篇关于该公司员工的遭遇的详实报道。尤其有意思的是,Good Technology的首席执行官在全体员工会议期,刻意淡化了她的公司的财务困境,暗示现金流良好,公司有很多诱人的选择。

那篇报道登出来后,我和几位企业家和风险资本讨论了新创企业如何处理对其员工的透明度的问题。

Good Technology作法的辩护者专利称,分享太多负面信息会预言的自我实现,致使员工士气低落甚至辞职,进而给公司造成伤害。此外,在内部保持财务透明为媒体泄露敞开了大门,如果信息是负面的,就可能殃及公司争取新业务的能力。

不过,我更经常听到企业家支持内部透明。Gusto首席执行官约书亚·里夫斯说,他的公司定期向员工提供营业收入、现金流等财务数据。Pinterest首席执行官本·希伯尔曼说过同样的话,他的员工还能定期获取有助于他们了解手中股票期权价值的信息。

里夫斯和希伯尔曼都说,媒体泄露的风险很容易被使员工产生遭到欺瞒的感觉的风险所压倒。只要前因后果清楚,业绩不佳并不一定对士气产生太大伤害。简言之,只要建立起足够强大的企业内部文化,你就能够经受风暴。

来听听Hubspot创始人和技术总监达米什·沙阿的相关犀利讲述:“只有共同创始人和我时,披露显然不是问题。后来,我们雇用了第一位员工,我们必须决定:‘我们要和这位新人分享些什么?’我们决定分享一切,因为我们想不出什么好的理由不这样做。我们用不着确定该和别人分享什么,不该和别人分享什么,这是一个很有成效的做法。少做些决定,少些政治,少些复杂的机制,就能做出更好的决策(所有人都拥有同样的数据)。”

译者:天文

Earlier this year, The New York Times published a detailed piece about what happened to employees of Good Technology, when the mobile security startup was sold to Blackberry BBRY -0.50% for less than half of its most recent private valuation. Of particular interest was how Good Technology CEO reportedly downplayed her company’s financial struggles during all-hands meetings, suggesting that cash-flow was fine and that Good had plenty of attractive options.

Since that story came out, I’ve spoken with several entrepreneurs and venture capitalists about the transparency dance between startups and their employees.

Defenders of the Good Technology model argue that sharing too much negative information becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy ― causing employees to become dispirited or even resign, thus further hurting the company. Moreover, internal financial transparency can open the door for media leaks that, if negative, could damage the company’s ability to win new business.

But, more often, I’ve heard from entrepreneurs who favor internal transparency. Gusto CEO Joshua Reeves, for example, says that his company regularly provides revenue, cash-flow and other financial data to employees. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann has said the same, with his employees also able to regularly access information that helps them better understand the value of their own stock options.

Both Reeves and Silbermann say that the risk of media leaks is easily overwhelmed by the risk of employees feeling bamboozled, and that poor performance needn’t hurt morale too much so long as it is contextualized. In short, if you build a strong enough internal culture, you can weather storms.

Here’s a quick related anecdote from Dharmesh Shah, founder and CTO of Hubspot HUBS -1.31% : “When it was just my co-founder and I, clearly disclosure wasn’t an issue. Then, when we hired our first employee, we had to make the decision: ‘What do we share with this new person.’ We decided ‘everything’ because couldn’t come up with a good reason not to. Not having to decide what to share with people and what not to is a pretty efficient process. Fewer decisions to make, fewer politics, fewer complex systems, better decisions (everyone has the same data).”

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