The web has been buzzing this week over the ill-fated, make-your-employees-redundant-then-blog-about-it-somewhat-insensitively, debacle over at Carsonified HQ.
If you’re unaware of the situation, here’s a short synopsis: Ryan Carson, of Carsonified, announces on twitter that it’s a sad day at the office. After some probing (also via twitter) Carson announces that his company has had to make some employees redundant. A little while later, Carson publishes a blog post about how small businesses can avoid the problems a recession brings and part of that post details what employees can do to avoid being made redundant.
The tone of the blog post seems to lay the blame of the employees redundancies upon their own shoulders as opposed to those of management and a lot of people commented on the post with comments to that effect.
A lot of the hullabaloo seems to permeate around the idea that Ryan Carson, is a god-like figure that should admired at all cost and that his observations on small internet businesses were once golden but now those same opinions are worthless – furthermore, he’s an insensitive prat.
Whereas in reality, all this situation has exposed is the fact that Carson is a human, as opposed to the web superhero some built him up to be. The bottom-line is this: yes, Carson has offered good advice in the past and no, the fact that his company has had to make some employees redundant does not mean that his previous advice was worthless and nor will be his future advice. In fact, having gone through this dreadful situation, I believe will make the Carsonified leader a better businessman.
People seem hurt to find out that you are just human, that you weren’t writing the Gospel according to Ryan but are merely sharing your observations on business life for people to assimilate into their own approaches.
But was it insensitive to blog about the redundancies?
It would seem so, however, Carson has claimed that he had his employee’s permission to publish this article and I believe it has damaged Carson’s reputation far more than that of his former employees’. I’d be rather surprised if those three people had not received job offers already by now. I fully imagine, many an employer would see that fact that some Carsonified staff are now available as a golden opportunity to get some very good workers onboard.
It’s very difficult to say whether the decision to make people redundant was a good or a bad business decision, nobody except for those involved in running the business have all the facts to make that judgement call. At this stage, it’s also impossible to declare this as a PR disaster, after all, Carsonified’s early bird discounted tickets sold out as planned on Monday not long after the incident and I for one, bought a ticket. So, without trivialising the redundancies, it would seem on the surface that the only damage done is that of a bruised ego for Mr Carson.
Whether or not, it was morally justified to write the original post, it was certainly interesting and I definitely learnt a lot from it. Blunt articles of this nature, may make for upsetting reading for some but I think we should all be grateful that people like Ryan Carson are taking the time to blog about their businesses and the (harsh) lessons they’re constantly learning.
Did you follow the Carsonified carnage on the blogosphere? What’s your take on it all?