Don Tapscott and David Ticoll published a book entitled The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency Will Revolutionize Business (Free Press, October 2003). In it, they uncover a side effect of information technology in general and, in particular, the Internet that of putting corporate misbehavior on display to anyone who is interested. Corporations have become, in effect, naked in the eyes of customers, investors and other stakeholder communities. The authors reveal that a strategy of transparency, where companies disclose all possible information, can not only ward off potential public relations disasters, but also contribute to a company's longevity (and bottom line). To address the phenomenon they identify, Tapscott and Ticoll advise, "If you have to be naked, you had better be buff."
The concept of "being buff" is an interesting one. Perhaps Tapscott and Ticoll's ideal world would be akin to a "corporate nudist colony" maybe with just a little spandex to cover the corporate jewels such as intellectual property and competitive strategies that should not be shared! Anyway, it is clear that "buff" corporations, the ones that disclose information important to their various constituencies (thus keeping themselves in good shape), will prosper.
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