Alex Payne has a fantastic post worth reading (which I actually found via my friend who shared it on Facebook) — “Two Unfinished Ideas About The Future

I wanted to highlight one of the ideas in particular:

Radical Transparency

What passes for transparency today is, in practice, mere translucency. Organizations reveal just enough information to avoid appearing closed and monolithic. They may attempt to communicate in a more human way, or provide open access to some of their data, but most remain fundamentally closed. Today’s “transparency” is little more than marketing.

That which is not open is secret. Secrets are vulnerabilities waiting to be exposed. Secrets are the illusion of competitiveness. Secrets are the bondage of serendipity. Secrets are lies of omission that eat away at our social and economic relationships. Their time is over.

The successful organizations of the future, be they states, corporations, communities, or collectives, will be radically open. Radically, unlike anything we’ve seen today. True transparency isn’t about a friendly company blog, or governments being slowly pried open with freedom-of-information initiatives. It’s about structuring society around openness, because openness is the only thing that’s sustainable.

You will see, in time, organizations that put everything on the table. Organizations for which there is no concept of non-public communication from day one; no internal email, nothing that isn’t a matter of public record, by design. Organizations for which every employee’s salary is public knowledge. Organizations that compete solely on the merits of their work, not on surprise, deceit, and manipulation.

People will think these organizations are crazy. And then, over time, radical transparency will become the norm.

Perfectly said. I agree. Amen.


  • Great find!

    The pessimistic part of my mind says that radical transparency is idealistic and far off — we have gone for a long time with corporations that still pull stuff behind the backs of consumers. What about a company’s internal strategies? Does it make sense for these to be open? But I do truly hope that transparency becomes more than just a dream sometime soon.

    It’s the only true way for the consumer to be empowered.

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