Thirty six

Transparency

Yvonne led a discussion about radical transparency.

You’ll recall this thread from my discussion with Yvonne after ‘the Gorooz’ had left the premises.

Yvonne described radical corporate transparency as removing all barriers to the free and easy public access to corporate information, and the development of policies and processes to facilitate and protect such access.

William provided a caveat – where it is legal to do so. For example, it would be illegal to make employee records public.

There appears to be a number of drivers towards radical corporate transparency. First up the question, what have you got to hide? The answer usually conjures up the idea of competitors sneaking a peak at your new product pipeline. But if you accept that no organization can function alone in the 21st Century (see later), you have to open up in order to bring great products to market. There are already examples of so-called co-opetition where competitors cooperate, subject to avoiding activities that might constitute a cartel of course. Secondly, now that social media and related technologies allow the ‘real story’ to emerge sooner or later, why obfuscate or attempt to ‘spin’ it in the short-term? This can only damage reputation further. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

On this point, Saket reminded us of a question he’d posed a few months back: If the company is a function of the sum of its people over time, how well do they know each other? What do they know? What don’t they know?

He mooted that traditional approaches to making sure data and information were not seen by the ‘wrong eyes’ actually kept data and information away from many of the ‘right eyes’ too. The new challenge was to make the right information available to the right people at the right time in the right format, or better still, equip them with the autonomy to surface what they need when they need it.

ACTION: Yvonne to champion the transparency corner, whatever that might mean.

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