Openness better than information hiding

The new spy scandal of Renault shows impressively that it doesn’t help, if a company tries to secure research and development plans. You can’t ever be sure that not some of your employees are selling some insights to your competitor. Then it’s probably better changing to an open discussion from the beginning. The competitors will get the same information, but the products will be better through the external input and the loyalty of customer and partner will increase.

Article about the Renault spy scandal:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110106/bs_afp/franceautocompanyrenaultprobespythreat

Talking about social media means to involve the target groups into strategic discussion, if it’s done seriously. Following this path it guides to Enterprise 2.0, but openness is generally a problem for many people. It’s common since hundreds of years to hide internal information, strategic decisions, development plans ……. So it won’t be easy to change it within the mind of the people.

Sometime I asked myself whether it’s the right way to run a company with open communication. I wasn’t sure for a long time, but now I think it’s the only way to work like this, because there are much more advantages. But it’s still not easy to do, because it’s like burned into the memory like “I can’t tell this, It can be dangerous”. But most of the times it isn’t.

Products are more and more identical for most of the industries. Other topics than new features are important to select a vendor. Most important will be a good relationship and word-of-mouth influence for example. Against this background, it is better to focus on other topics than hiding information.

There are some more advantages for openness:

  • Development in the wrong direction won’t appear
  • Products will meet the requirements of the customers
  • Decisions will be faster
  • Products will be more innovative through participation of many
  • Customer and partner loyalty will increase
  • Problems will be visible and can be solved (support for example)
  • Opinion leadership can be the result

Some more advantages of internal openness:

  • Increase of employee loyalty
  • Higher involvement and motivation of employees
  • Faster reaction on new demands
  • less bugs
  • Employees are informed before the “outside world”
  • Valuable input for strategic decisions

I think there are still some more advantages, but listed enough to show that companies which are changing to openness will be the winner.

Openness needs to be started internal and Enterprise 20 offers the perfect tools to do it. I guess Enterprise 2.0 is needed before you can start external social media activities anyhow, because you will get much more company spokespersons. These people need to be informed and need the right tools to be connected internally.  Social media is fast. You can’t wait for a long time to react. The questions of the “spokespersons” need to be answered quickly, if they should be successful at the “social media front”.

It’s also a good training starting with openness internally, before you do it with external stakeholder. It’s better to do it step by step.

The following two tabs change content below.

Joachim Lindner




  1. Frank says:

    I think, decision makers do not prefer this way, because of the loss of authority.

  2. Frank says:

    I think, decision makers do not prefer this way, because of the loss of authority.