Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth.
~ Oscar Wilde
I want to propose something.
How about we start using open letters to communicate in our workplace?
No, I am not kidding.
If you aren’t on a covert operation by the CIA, or living under a huuuuuuge rock, you might have noticed a lot of open letters popping up in the news during the last few months.
I definitely did.
And to be honest; I like the idea of it. Sharing your thoughts addressed to another person, in PUBLIC.
I got to thinking. Initially it was one of those stupid ideas (maybe it still is).
How about we use open letters in workplace communication. The ecosystem is encouraging transparency (Cheers to the guys at Buffer and Groove), and I am learning ruby on rails, there couldn’t be any better time to do this.
Every company, no matter the size, is making its processes more transparent to all of its employees. Heck! some have even made their processes and revenues PUBLIC.
The sole reason behind all of this being,
Transparency breeds trust.
Initially I thought of building a global community where we could address a letter to someone’s twitter handle while staying anonymous (or not).
Then I thought of associating the letters with company emails, people could have a healthy debate (with comments and hundred other features).
Then it struck me, people could use Slack. They could share their opinion about a person or his/her decision on a team channel. This made a lot of sense.
But slack has a problem.
Take that away, and you will start to see the magic of Open Letters.
I started working on this simple rails app in April this year, then forgot about it. Then, this week I ran out of stuff to do, I got to work again. Added some stuff and gave all of it a makeover.
Use it at your startup, share it with the community, contribute a few lines of code. Heck! Correct my grammar in the README.
Here is the link to the Github repository.
Whatever you do, don’t take away the anonymity, it’ll take the spirit out of this piece of code.
Note: Using Open Letters effectively requires a sense of responsibility among the people using it. As uncle Ben puts it, “with great power comes great responsibility”. So beware, you are playing with fire, don’t burn your house in the effort to heat it.