In his column in The New Yorker, financial writer James Surowiecki deflated the myth of corporate intelligence '…that stealing trade secrets and monitoring your competitors' every move automatically gives you an edge,' when he pointed out, 'that the real secrets are hiding in plain sight.'
It is easy to understand how secrecy and confidentiality have been pillars of the competitive corporate culture. Only now, many external forces at work if not common sense tell us that the successful corporations in the future will have to learn to function in an open and observable way.
Let us look at some of the forces for transparency that range from public expectations to the effect of new technologies.
As the era of environmental regulation has slowed, the focus is increasingly on corporations' environmental performance beyond compliance. Both the public sector as well as investors are now and will increasingly be seeking out information necessary to measure social and environmental performance.