Smartphones, parties and videotape


There have been a lot of news items over the past few weeks purporting to explain what is keeping CEOs, CFOs and other executives up at night. We've heard plenty about growing compliance requirements, rapidly changing customer demands, ongoing economic worries and much more.

But here's one I hadn't heard before: One of the biggest fears among executives these days is that employees will leak embarrassing videos of them.

I got an email last week from the PR folks for video platform provider Qumo, which found in a recent survey that more than half of executives are concerned about employees uploading irresponsible content. Twelve percent are worried about themselves depicted in embarrassing videos taken at company parties.

Does this ring true in your organization? I have to say, I didn't see it coming. I realize that everyone with a smartphone has a video camera at the ready, but are so many executives doing embarrassing things, and who are these employees recording them? And what I really want to know is, which companies are still throwing big bashes at the holidays?

The news about employee-generated video has an upside, of course. The survey by Qumo (which is about to launch some new products) found that 73 percent of respondents said these videos are increasing productivity. For the most part, the rank and file is producing more interesting videos than the CEO. Employees are churning out how-to videos, management communications videos and town hall meeting videos.

In the end, the worry about embarrassing videos among executives may be more about guilty conscience than actual threat. It turns out that 100 percent of the survey respondents said they had never seen an inappropriate video uploaded to the company network. - Caron