The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency Will Revolutionize Business by Don Tapscott and David Ticoll
After hearing David Ticoll talk in November, I went out and picked up this book. It took me a while to start reading and then it was slow going once I did. Transparency in business is clearly an important topic; it's just not at the forefront of my thoughts for the future. Until the end of the book, where the authors provided a better sequence of examples via Novo Nordisk, the tone of the book was not as captivating as that of David Ticoll's talk.
Of course, knowledge management is all about ease of access to information and knowledge both within the firm and without. What better kind of firm in which to talk about knowledge management than one that has a culture of openness and transparency? To reinforce this point, the authors make a number of references to knowledge and knowledge workers throughout the book. Specifically they talk about knowledge workers performing best in open and trusting environments: "organizations that wish to sustain high performance in the knowledge economy have no choice but to create an environment of trust, founded upon transparency." (p. 28)
I was disappointed that in the section on Harnessing the Power (chapter 9), there was no discussion of the Intellectual Capital ideas of Leif Edvinsson or Tom Stewart (AOK links). It seems to me that the intellectual capital push in the late 90's was all about transparency: both from the perspective of seeing deeper into a company and in looking at more than simply financial measures of a company to gauge its worth. Tapscott and Ticoll focus much more on the measurements associated with sustainability, which embody a number of the IC measures - the reason that IC popped into my mind while reading the book.