by Kas Kunz
The marketing maven Seth Godin wrote 2 blog posts back-to-back about marketing your business and transparency in business that I think puts them in the right perspective. His posts provide a check and balance to the pendulum effect of one extreme to another.
On marketing your business he writes about finding your own voice for your company and not copying others. The direction for you to proceed is much clearer if you're marketing is centered on the goals of your business. Regardless of how popular a marketing tactic might be, you'll be in a mindset where you determine if it will support your business goals.
He advocates walking your own path and not following the herd. Intertwined with a company's success and endurance is the culture of the company, which is what makes you unique from any other company. It's the personality, the voice of your company. How is your company culture working for your business needs?
In light of transparency for a company his perspective gives a voice of balance that I think has been missing. He's not advocating cover-ups and misleading employees and the public where your intent and actions don't match, because that always comes out sooner or later with no upside. Here are some of his thoughts which asks the right question, what is the long-term benefit and purpose?
"Does a magician put on a better show if you know how his tricks are done? Do you want to see how your dinner was made, farm to plate? Really?
I look at the transparency issue not as a moral right, but as a business tactic, tool and threat.
Radical transparency often excites people because of the radical part (it's new! it's scary!) than the transparent part. Playing poker with your cards face up on the table might get you some attention at first, but in the long run it's unlikely to help you win a lot of hands."