Companies traditionally have been reluctant to disclose their private internal information. Perhaps the greatest fear is that sensitive information might somehow be obtained and used by competitors, or even customers.
In our increasingly fast-paced world, competitive advantage is taking on different forms. Now, such factors as speed to market and corporate culture may be more important. These advantages are difficult and slow to duplicate.
The value of empowering employees is recognized by many companies as being more important that the possible damage of leaked information. The cost of not making fast, close-to-the-action decisions is simply too high.
"Open Book Management" is a general approach and does not mean that all information is shared. The idea is to provide employees with meaningful information to help them do their jobs. Further, employees are educated in business and how their individual jobs impact company performance. Sufficient information fosters job ownership and allows self-corrections. A participative culture with a win-win, team attitude can do wonders for getting results.
"Companies should spend less time protecting financial data from employees and more time teaching them to analyze and act on it."
" ... the people who deal with customers and with the competitive problems need to be engaged in looking at their business in every way possible every day." Analysis should lead you step by step to a decision and to action. You have to think, act, evaluate , and adapt."
Bill Gates in Oil & Gas Executive Report, v. 2, n. 2, 1999
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