If I Were Running A Company…Secrecy

If you read my post this past week on data, I compared Moneyball and The Extra 2% and there were major differences on how the Oakland As and the Tampa Bay Rays approach on talent. What I didn’t tell you in that post is how each told their stories to the authors. In Moneyball, Billy Beane spilled every secret to Michael Lewis. In The Extra 2%, Jonah Keri had to deal with Fort Knox since no one want to give secrets of how the Tampa Bay Rays are run exactly. This brings to today that we need more transparency, honesty, and being social. I do agree with that, but there are moments to keep a secret, but that depends on where you working. Let’s take a look:

Non-profit sector:

This is my bread and butter and quite frankly, it is the only sector that should be transparent, honest and social since their not fighting against each other; they collaborate. Although there are so many nonprofits to choose from, they realize one non-profit is great at marketing, maybe the other has the donors and they have to combine resources together to achieve the ultimate goal (in society). The only thing that splits apart nonprofits is their agenda, both business-wise and politics. Just ask the Susan G. Komen Foundation how their politics is affecting their business.

Government Contracting:

I live in Northern Virginia; home of a plethora of government contracting companies because Northern Virginia is next to D.C. Secrets are always a thing for government contracting and should be. There are open government initiatives people trying to push and that’s fine, but remember, government is not only domestic, but global. One minor misstep and it could create an international incident.

Private (for-profit) sector:

This is where the meat of the secrecy lies. While the non-profit and the government contracting (to an extent, the public sector) are collaborating and fighting for presence in the government, the private sector are fighting each other for resources and talent. In the private sector, anything goes. People can steal talent and resources away. You can steal talent away in the nonprofit and government contracting sector, but the private sector is pure competition on talent, resources, and customers. This is why private sectors have big budgets…to kill one another.

Do I think organizations need to be honest, transparent, and social to attract customer and applicants? Absolutely, but depending on your sector, you want to keep your “business” secrets in-house. You wouldn’t want your colleague know too much if you know they’re going to jump ship and grow your competitor’s business.

Sharing is great and we want to live in a transparent world, but don’t share too much about your business or your competitors will feast on you.

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