/ Guide

Your company should have an opinion

by eelco

Times are a-changing. And while that didn't bring much good for current pop music, there is something to say for the change in how companies are getting more opinionated.

As a company, you can make a difference by having an opinion in public, be vocal about certain social issues and take clear sides in certain matters.
Companies like Apple and Google who are pro-LBGT and are supporters of pride parades near their offices. Or, again, Apple who is vocal about privacy—and “pointing a finger” to others who take privacy not serious (cough Facebook cough Google cough). But also think about less political matters, like Buffer who write and promote remote working and transparency on a regular basis.

As the founder of the company, you can push for your own ethics. This might upset customers or make some end their relationship with you, but that's okay. You will be left with the best customers you could wish for. Though this shouldn't be your goal. Different opinions can also be the basis for a stronger relationship. That is if you care to start a conversation. Listen to the other. Try to understand them. And maybe come to the conclusion your views don't differ all too much.

“Pushing for your ethics might upset customers or make some end their relationship with you, but that's okay. You will be left with the best customers you could wish for.”

Having a public opinion from the early stages of your company can help you attract the best possible employees for you.

It is important to be genuine about this though. Don't simply take a stance because one big company does it or because it is easy. You do have to believe in it, otherwise, your coworkers and employees will see through it fast enough.
Being vocal about something or taking a stance should not distract you from running your business. Nor should it be used to just get attention. Taking a side is for a greater good, cause or, in case of remote/async work, make your business run a bit better.

New opinions in an existing team

It would be a good idea to share and discuss topics with your team members, but be aware that these shouldn't take a too prominent place within your team. Discussing difficult topics has been the source of troubles in relationship-paradise before. Do listen, learn and accept that people can have different opinions.

These opinions don't have to be on big political matters all the time. You can write about topics you care about on your blog, Twitter or elsewhere too:

Not coincidentally these are the subjects, or opinions, that I do care about and will write about at Muna as a business. Note that these are not all controversial in a societal way. And that's okay for now. When I do feel I need to make an opinion public on a more political level, I will happily publish it here.

Don't always answer in a political way when asked about certain topics. Think about certain topics, be thoughtful and answer in such a way your whole company can stand behind it.

Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash

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