What Nonprofit Leaders Can Learn From The Sony Cyber Attack

The ongoing data breach revelations at Sony are interesting, to say the least.

Nobody is certain who’s responsible for the cyber attack. But cyber security experts analyzing the case agree that Sony was severely under-prepared, especially for a multinational company.

You might be thinking ‘what does this have to do with the nonprofit sector?’

Sony’s public woes illustrate a real-world, high-profile example of the need for clear organizational communication. Multiple reports claim Sony executives were warned by Sony employees about cyber security flaws and their potential to create destruction years ago. Those warnings were ignored.

While hackers aren’t likely to target nonprofits for information, the incident can help teach and remind nonprofit decision makers about the value of listening to their employees and volunteers. Often those on the ground-floor will have an intimate knowledge of weaknesses within an organization that aren’t as obvious to those whose role primarily positions their view at a higher perspective.

As you plan for 2015, consider ways to capture honest, consistent observations and feedback from staff and volunteers. You will gain important information you might not have known and you also ingratiate yourself with staff by essentially saying ” I value your perspective.” This dynamic leads to a more open organization that’s better prepared to embrace – and win – challenges.

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